Coming to us from famous director Adrian Lyne (Lolita, Fatal Attraction, Nine 1/2 Weeks, Flashdance) this movie tackles a more serious theme then his previous projects. Visually very impressive and content-wise just plain beautiful this bomb from the eighties can still evoke emotions (that is greatly due to the amazing performance by Tim Robbins). Jacob’s Ladder is actually a term taken from the bible, where patriarch Jacob dreams about a ladder between Earth and Heaven and the backup title for the movie was Dante’s Inferno. Another interesting influence is the Tibetan Book of Dead: Bardo Thodol, explaining one’s journey into the next life (incarnation). Add LSD to this and you got yourself a pretty potent mixture.

Jacob Singer is traumatized Vietnam veteran with little left to hold on in his present life. Left by his wife and doing meaningless work for the post office his spirals down into a nightmare of haunting visions and apparitions. Will he ever find out why is this happening to him and is this something that is happening to other soldiers it is up to you to find out. Amazing combination of dreams and visions carefully mixed with ordinary life is something that is hard to accomplish. A true masterpiece that managed to flesh out that paranoia and fear of our existence and reality. This created an atmosphere that’s a bit uncomfortable, but entirely necessary.

Director: Adrian Lyne

Cast: Tim Robbins, Danny Aiello, Jason Alexander, Elizabeth Peña, Matt Craven

Fun Stuff: The closing legend of the film mentions the testing of a drug named BZ in Vietnam. BZ is NATO code for a hallucinogen called 3-quinuclidinyl benzilate, which was rumored to have been administered to US troops during the Vietnam War in an attempt to increase their combat abilities.


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