Jacob's Ladder script
Synopsis: Jacob's Ladder is a 1990 American psychological horror film directed by Adrian Lyne, written and produced by Bruce Joel Rubin and starring Tim Robbins, Elizabeth Peña, and Danny Aiello. The film's protagonist, Jacob, is a Vietnam veteran whose experiences prior to and during the war result in strange, fragmentary flashbacks and bizarre hallucinations that continue to haunt him. As his ordeal worsens, Jacob desperately attempts to figure out the truth.

EXT. VIETNAM - DUSK

A swarm of helicopters swoops out of a yellow sky and

deposits an army of men over a Vietnamese hillside.

The SOLDIERS scramble over the terraced rice paddies for the

protection of the jungle. Falling into coulmns, like strands

of soldier ants, seventy-five men, at combat readiness,

assemble on the edge of a sweltering wilderness.

It is dusk. The mood is lazy, soporific. Members of one

platoon huddle close to the ground smoking a joint.

JERRY:

Strong stuff.

ROD:

(to JACOB, a soldier

squatting several yards

away)

Hey, Professor, how many times can

you shit in an hour?

GEORGE:

Don't bug 'im.

DOUG:

Where are those gooks already?

FRANK:

Some offensive. I don't even think

they're out there.

PAUL:

Jesus, this grass is something else.

JACOB SINGER returns to the group, pulling up his pants.

ROD:

Why even bother to pull 'em up?

FRANK:

You jackin' off out there again, huh

Jake?

PAUL:

Hey, get off his back.

ROD:

It's called philosophizing, right

Professor?

JACOB gives them the finger.

JACOB:

Up yours, you adolescent scum.

Laughter.

SERGEANT (V.O.)

Mount your bayonets.

FRANK:

(frightened)

Oh shit!

PAUL:

Goddam!

ROD:

Gimme that joint!

JERRY:

Hey, something's wrong.

GEORGE:

What is it?

JERRY:

My head.

GEORGE:

It's nerves. Take another toke.

GEORGE reaches out, extending a joint. Suddenly he gasps and

falls to the ground, his body convulsing uncontrollably. The

others stand back, startled. JACOB grabs him and shoves a

rifle barrel between his chattering teeth.

ROD:

What's going on?

Before anyone can answer JERRY grabs his head, screaming. He

turns frantically in all directions.

JERRY:

Help me! Help me!

PAUL:

What the hell ... ?

In seconds JERRY is spinning wildly out of control, his head

shaking into a terrific blur. He crashes into FRANK with the

force of a truck. FRANK slams into the ground as all the air

rushes from his lungs. He begins gasping and

hyperventilating. His eyes grow wide and frenzied as he

gulps for air. Fear and confusion sweep across his face. The

MEN watch, horrified, as FRANK's terror escalates beyond

reason into all-out panic.

Suddenly FRANK begins howling. He lunges for his bayonet

and, without warning, attacks the MEN around him.

PAUL:

God Almighty!

PAUL spins out of the way as FRANK's bayonet impales the

ground. JACOB jumps on top of FRANK and wrestles him into

the tall grass. PAUL rushes to his assistance.

JACOB stares at FRANK's face as FRANK struggles beneath him.

It is the face of a madman.

PAUL:

Good God! What's happening?

The sudden chaos is intensified by the sound of fighting

erupting behind them. Guns crackle and bursts of light

penetrate the darkening sky.

ROD:

Behind you! Look out! This is it!

The MEN spin around. PAUL panics and jumps to his feet,

leaving JACOB alone with FRANK. FRANK's eyes burn with

demonic force as he gathers his strength.

JACOB:

Don't leave me.

Dark figures, silhouetted by the setting sun, are storming

at them. SOLDIERS squint to see. It is a horrifying vision.

PAUL:

They're coming!

Gunfire explodes on all sides. Suddenly PAUL flips out. He

begins screaming uncontrollably, ripping at his clothes and

skin. FRANK is struggling like four men and JACOB is

weakening in his effort to restrain him. Bayonets glimmer in

the exchange of fire. Bodies fall. More bodies keep coming.

The first wave is upon them.

ROD shoots into the air. Shadowy forms hurl forward

screaming like banshees. ROD, squinting, jabs with his

bayonet, piercing the belly of his attacker. Agonizing cries

accompany his fall. ROD yanks the bayonet out and stabs

again.

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Bruce Joel Rubin

Bruce Joel Rubin is an American screenwriter best known for the supernatural romance Ghost, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. He also wrote the screenplay for the 1990 psychological thriller Jacob's Ladder. more…

All Bruce Joel Rubin scripts | Bruce Joel Rubin Books

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"Jacob's Ladder" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 16 Dec. 2017. <http://www.scripts.com/script/jacob's_ladder_876>.

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