We found this amazing video that of fans of Jacob’s Ladder and 1990’s-era horror will definitely want to check out. The fact that we have a deleted scene from any film made in the 1990s is significant; excised physical footage from that day was almost always destroyed, as DVD’s and expected extras had yet to create the need for it. One tragic example is the case of Event Horizon, which had to trim itself of over 45 minutes in order to secure an R-Rating from the FCC. That footage would have been a goldmine in the 21st Century, but none of it survived.
Many times when footage from the 1990s is recovered, the quality is extremely poor. Horror fans who saw early screenings of Nightbreed’s Cabal Cut with additional footage culled from VHS work tapes know exactly what I’m talking about. Likewise, Scream Factory’s recent effort to re-release a Director’s Cut of The Exorcist III from work tapes was a valiant but uneven effort; the switch back and forth of both visual and sound quality makes a seamless viewing experience impossible.
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That’s why the clip below from Jacob’s Ladder is so rare and extraordinary. Not only is it a full, 9-minutes, but the quality, sound, and editing is all top-notch. It would appear that this scene was completed, but removed from the final cut, probably as the last step of streamlining process before the film was released. Give it a whirl, though, and we think you’ll agree that this would have been a harrowing and cathartic moment for viewers had Jacob’s Ladder been left intact.
CONTEXT: This scene would have taken place in the 3rd Act, after Jacob (Tim Robbins) escapes from the nightmare hospital, and before he visits his chiropractor, Louis played by Danny Aiello. In addition to Jacob, the scene features Michael Newman (played by Matt Craven), a former government chemist with inside knowledge of Jacob’s unique condition. Have a watch:
As for why this incredible moment was considered expendable, I hypothesize it has to do with some redundancies to the Aiello scene that follows. Both feature angel-like figures delivering a moment of serenity that allows Jacob to finally go “home”. Perhaps producers felt it made the film’s conclusion too long and opted for the shorter moment in the chiropractor’s office. Whatever the reason, we should all be thankful that someone in Hollywood had the good sense to hold onto this footage, when common convention was to toss edits into an incinerator.
What did you think of this deleted scene from Jacob’s Ladder? Sound off in the Comments section! And check out the original trailer, synopsis, and poster for Jacob’s Ladder below.
Official Synopsis: After returning home from the Vietnam War, veteran Jacob Singer (Tim Robbins) struggles to maintain his sanity. Plagued by hallucinations and flashbacks, Singer rapidly falls apart as the world and people around him morph and twist into disturbing images. His girlfriend, Jezzie (Elizabeth Peña), and ex-wife, Sarah (Patricia Kalember), try to help, but to little avail. Even Singer’s chiropractor friend, Louis (Danny Aiello), fails to reach him as he descends into madness.
Jacob’s Ladder was directed by Adrian Lyne from a script penned by Bruce Joel Rubin.
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