Jacob's Ladder ★★½ 1990 (R)
A man struggles with events he experienced while serving in Vietnam. Gradually, he becomes unable to separate reality from the strange, psychotic world into which he increasingly lapses. His friends and family try to help him before he's lost forever. Great story potential is flawed by too many flashbacks, leaving the viewer more confused than the characters. 116m/C VHS, DVD . Tim Robbins, Elizabeth Pena, Danny Aiello, Matt Craven, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Jason Alexander, Patricia Kalember, Eriq La Salle, Ving Rhames, Macaulay Culkin; D: Adrian Lyne; W: Bruce Joel Rubin; C: Jeffrey L. Kimball; M: Maurice Jarre.
According to the Kabala, Jacob's Ladder, which was disclosed to Jacob in a vision, was a metaphorical representation of the powers of alchemy operating through visible nature. The ladder was a "rainbow," or prismatic staircase, between heaven and earth. Jacob's dream symbolizes a theory of the hermetic creation. There were said to be only two original colors, red and blue, representing spirit and matter. Orange is red mixing with the yellow light of the sun; yellow is the radiance of the sun itself; green is blue and yellow; indigo is blue tinctured with red; and violet is produced by the mingling of red and blue. The sun is alchemic gold, and the moon is alchemic silver. It was believed that all earthly creations were produced through the interaction of these two potent ruling spirits.
Jacob's Ladder is also part of the symbolism of the high grades of Freemasonry.
Ja·cob's lad·der • n. 1. a plant (Polemonium van-bruntiae, family Polemoniaceae) of the northeastern US with loose clusters of purplish-blue flowers and slender pointed leaves, rows of which are said to resemble a ladder. 2. a rope ladder with wooden rungs, esp. for access to a ship up the side.