Jacob’s Ladder 1990 ***


Adrian Lyne made his name with 9 ½ Weeks, and somehow never escaped the accusation that his films were all flash and no content, despite managing hits (Indecent Proposal) and worthy misses (Lolita). His best, most troubling film was 1990’s Jacobs’s Ladder, a chilling portrait of mental disintegration featuring Tim Robbins a Jacob, a Vietnam veteran struggling to deal with life after the war. From a script but Ghost-writer Bruce Joel Rubin, Jacob’s Ladder is a psychological horror film, with Jacob’s terrifying visions realised in a disconcerting way by Lyne Inspired by the photography of Joel Peter Witkin, Jacob’s Ladder cleverly updates Ambrose Pierce’s template story “An Incident at Owl’s Creek’ to powerful effect, switching between fantasy and reality deftly, and the final twist is devastating given the emotional connection with Jacob’s characters that Robbins creates. Jason Alexander and Ving Rhames and Danny Aiello and amongst the capable support.


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