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Man on Wire (2008)

PG-13  |   |  Documentary, Biography, History  |  29 August 2008 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 34,854 users   Metascore: 89/100
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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 overview, first billed only:
Jean François Heckel ...
Himself (as Jean-François Heckel)
Jean-Louis Blondeau ...
Annie Allix ...
David Forman ...
Alan Welner ...
Mark Lewis ...
Barry Greenhouse ...
Himself (as N. Barry Greenhouse)
Jim Moore ...
Guy F. Tozzoli ...
Himself (as Guy Tozzoli)
David Demato ...
Ardis Campbell ...
Aaron Haskell ...
Shawn Dempewolff-Barrett ...
David - Drama Reconstructions (as Shawn Dempewolff)


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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:



Official Sites:

| |  »





Release Date:

29 August 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Man on Wire - Der Drahtseilakt  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


£1,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


| (some scenes)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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 »


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 »


Alan Welner: The fact that I could not speak French, and didn't know what the sound was or what had happened with the wire... was probably just as well.
See more »


Referenced in God Bless America (2011) See more »


History Of The Insipid
Written by Michael Nyman
Performed by The Michael Nyman Orchestra
Published by Chester Music Limited
Courtesy of MN Records Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

Simply amazing
20 June 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I too saw this at the Waterfront Film Festival, and wow, what an experience.

It is hard to put into words just how good this film is, and on just how many levels it works. It is intensely fun, good-natured, laugh-out-loud funny at times, poignant and heart-wrenching at others. The images, not just of the central feat, but of many of Philippe Petit's performances are arresting and jaw-droppingly beautiful. Each of the supporting characters is colorful and entertaining in his or her own way, but none more so than Petit himself, who is so instantly likable that it is hard not to get immediately drawn in to this fascinating tale.

Even with this description, I am not doing the film justice. I have not seen a film this good in years. If you have a chance (I believe it is scheduled for release in August), GO SEE THIS MOVIE.

36 of 47 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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No Film of Actual Walk? ChadShaft
Did anyone here ever get to visit the World Trade Center? Rabipelado
What makes this movie so deserving of acclaim? pbechard
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