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A look at tightrope walker Philippe Petit's daring, but illegal, high-wire routine performed between New York City's World Trade Center's twin towers in 1974, what some consider, "the artistic crime of the century."

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 43 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Himself
Jean François Heckel ...
Himself (as Jean-François Heckel)
Jean-Louis Blondeau ...
Himself
Annie Allix ...
Herself
David Forman ...
Himself
Alan Welner ...
Himself
Mark Lewis ...
Himself
Barry Greenhouse ...
Himself (as N. Barry Greenhouse)
Jim Moore ...
Himself
Guy F. Tozzoli ...
Himself (as Guy Tozzoli)
...
David Demato ...
Ardis Campbell ...
Aaron Haskell ...
Shawn Dempewolff-Barrett ...
David - Drama Reconstructions (as Shawn Dempewolff)
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Storyline

On August 7, 1974, Philippe Petit, a French wire walker, juggler, and street performer days shy of his 25th birthday, spent 45 minutes walking, dancing, kneeling, and lying on a wire he and friends strung between the rooftops of the Twin Towers. Uses contemporary interviews, archival footage, and recreations to tell the story of his previous walks between towers of Notre Dame and of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, his passions and friendships, and the details of the night before the walk: getting cable into the towers, hiding from guards, and mounting the wire. It ends with observations of the profound changes the walk's success brought to Philippe and those closest to him. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

1974. 1350 feet up. The artistic crime of the century.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sexuality and nudity, and drug references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

29 August 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Man on Wire - Der Drahtseilakt  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

£1,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$51,392 (USA) (25 July 2008)

Gross:

$2,957,978 (USA) (27 February 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Color:

| (some scenes)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Low on money for the Sydney Harbor Bridge walk, Philippe Petit got the cable in exchange for an impromptu juggling and magic show he put on for employees. See more »

Goofs

In the reenaction of Philippe Petit and his friend hiding from the night watchman at the WTC, a box on the floor has a present-day USPS logo. See more »

Quotes

Sgt Charles Daniels: ...I observed the tight rope dancer... because you couldn't call him a walker... approximately half-way between the two towers. I personally figured I was watching something that somebody else would never see again in the world. Thought it was once in a lifetime.
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Connections

Referenced in God Bless America (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Gymnopedie No. 1
Written by Erik Satie
Performed by Ann Queffélec
Courtesy of EMI Records Ltd
Published by Universal Music Publishing MGB Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A perfect heist film
16 June 2008 | by (Omena, Michigan) – See all my reviews

I saw this at the Waterfront Film Festival in Saugatuck, Michigan.

Man on Wire is an exciting documentary about Philippe Petit who, thanks to his friends, managed to sneak into the World Trade Center in 1974 and do a high-wire act between the Twin Towers.

From the very start of the film it pulls you in, this is an amazing story and Petit is an amazing person to document. Sure, he's a reckless person and has a wild personality, but he's fascinating to watch. The interviews with him and his friends and "team" who helped pull off the stunt are extremely interesting and great to watch. It's fun watching old footage of Petit performing some of his previous acts, this guy really has talent, and may be a bit too determined and crazy. The reenactments are also well filmed and a nice job of telling the story.

This documentary plays like a classic heist film. It's filled with suspense and has many of those caper moments of mistakes that may ruin the entire job. Even though the final outcome is already known, it's still thrilling and you don't know if they will pull it off.

A well crafted film that does a wonderful job of telling the story of one man's dream and how he managed to make it a reality.


88 of 101 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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LOVED it. Funkexperience
No Film of Actual Walk? ChadShaft
What makes this movie so deserving of acclaim? pbechard
Did anyone here ever get to visit the World Trade Center? Rabipelado
why did the other guy start crying gus495
Was it really that dangerous? Hinzy9
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