Mourning his dead child, a haunted Vietnam War veteran attempts to uncover his past while suffering from a severe case of dissociation. To do so, he must decipher reality and life from his own dreams, delusions, and perceptions of death.

Director:

Adrian Lyne
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Popularity
2,528 ( 451)
3 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tim Robbins ... Jacob
Elizabeth Peña ... Jezzie
Danny Aiello ... Louis
Matt Craven ... Michael
Pruitt Taylor Vince ... Paul
Jason Alexander ... Geary
Patricia Kalember ... Sarah
Eriq La Salle ... Frank
Ving Rhames ... George
Brian Tarantina ... Doug
Anthony Alessandro Anthony Alessandro ... Rod
Brent Hinkley ... Jerry
S. Epatha Merkerson ... Elsa
Suzanne Shepherd ... Hospital Receptionist
Doug Barron Doug Barron ... Group Leader
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Storyline

Jacob Singer is trying to make sense of his fractured life and memories. Plagued by hallucinations, flashbacks, and conspiracies, he struggles down a path to enlightenment from these manic strains. With nothing but support from friends and loved ones will he be able to push through the haze of his PTSD.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The most frightening thing about Jacob Singer's nightmare is that he isn't dreaming.

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Mystery

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Certain imagery was inspired by the photographs of Joel-Peter Witkin. Most recognizably, the image of the hooded, legless man shaking his head is inspired by Witkin's 1976 photograph "Man With No Legs". See more »

Goofs

Numerous times, most noticeable in a mirror. See more »

Quotes

Jezebel: Jake, New York is filled with creatures.
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Crazy Credits

The credits roll over a grainy black and white photo of Gabe and Jacob crossing the street together. See more »

Alternate Versions

After initial test audiences reported that the film was overwhelming, director Adrian Lyne cut out twenty minutes of material, almost all of which came from the last third of the film. Four major sequences were removed after Jacob first meets Michael; a scene where Michael gives him an antidote for the Ladder, a scene where Jacob thinks he is cured but turns out not to be; a scene where he goes to Michael's apartment and finds Michael decapitated; and a scene just prior to his final meeting with Gabe, where he meets Jezzie, who shows her true form. See more »

Connections

References Seconds (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

SONNY BOY
Written by Buddy G. DeSylva (as B.G. de Silva) / Lew Brown (as L. Brown) / Ray Henderson (as R. Henderson) / Al Jolson (as A. Jolson)
Published by Warner Bros. Music (ASCAP)
Performed by Al Jolson
Courtesy of MCA Records
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User Reviews

 
THEN THE DEVILS ARE REALLY ANGELS FREEING YOU FROM THE EARTH
22 January 2020 | by waynegavin1See all my reviews

What a fantastic thrill ride,this movie is in my top 5,VIETNAM from the starting credits with a platoon trying to laugh away their insanity with humor but they are immediately thrown into to turmoil with a sudden attack,soon we jump forward to a soldiers everyday mediocre life and the train hes on is about to send him on an unexplained journey.this movie is packed with psychedelic mind bending time parody illusions it never loses its way and never loses your attention,you will need to be on your a game to unravel this unprecedented horror story as we follow a softly confused JACOB through a nightmarish dream that is more real than the life he leads.keep an eye on appearances from DANNY AIELLO who has his finest moment here.this is an A+ movie get it now


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 November 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jacob's Ladder See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,500,760, 4 November 1990

Gross USA:

$26,118,851

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$26,118,851
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Carolco Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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