7.8/10
45,994
140 user 197 critic

Man on Wire (2008)

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".

Director:

Writer:

(based on the book "To Reach the Clouds" by)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 45 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Himself (as Jean-François Heckel)
...
...
...
...
...
...
Himself (as N. Barry Greenhouse)
...
Guy F. Tozzoli ...
Himself (as Guy Tozzoli)
...
Philippe - Drama Reconstructions
David Demato ...
Jean-Louis - Drama Reconstructions
Ardis Campbell ...
Annie - Drama Reconstructions
Aaron Haskell ...
Jean-François - Drama Reconstructions
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:

| |  »

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 USA:

$51,392, 27 July 2008, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,957,978, 1 March 2009
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Color:

| (some scenes)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Petit was given a lifetime pass to the Twin Towers Observation Deck by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. 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.
See more »

Connections

Featured in 50 Documentaries to See Before You Die: Episode 3 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Leaving Home
Written by J. Ralph
Published by Tubby and the Spaniard Music Publishing
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Beautiful film, fascinating characters, sublime acts.
27 June 2008 | by See all my reviews

We saw this film at the Edinburgh Film Festival, it's European premier, and it was a packed audience. Unfortunately due to an error, the reels were swapped in the middle of the film, which threw the timing a bit but to be honest the poor organisers looked so miserable as they apologised that no one minded, and the film was just as beautiful as it should have been.

We were lucky enough to have a Q&A with the director and the star, Philippe Petit where we all asked the same old questions; 'how did it feels?' 'are you scared of death?' 'what made you do it?' but what made the experience and the film so refreshing was the personality of Petit. Of course you would assume he is a rampant egotist, he was a very good looking young man, talented, with a raft of friends happy to be involved in his dangerous and exciting endevours. Petit is actually incredibly funny and oblivious. I would describe his act not as simply entertainment but as a sublime experience, taking us to the edge of terror and death.

I was worried I'd spend the whole film with clammy hands, watching a guy on a high wire so high up, but his friend describes it so well the feeling you get watching him walk up there, it's so poetic and peaceful.

This is a very unusual film, very beautiful and exciting. I would say that it is suitable for any age but take your mum and dad, they'll love it.


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