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Man on Wire
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Man on Wire (2008) More at IMDbPro »

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Man on Wire -- Man on Wire Trailer
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Man on Wire -- Clip: Beyond anything...
Man on Wire -- Clip: At the time...
Man on Wire -- Clip: And the minute...


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Release Date:
1 August 2008 (Ireland) See more »
1974. 1350 feet up. The artistic crime of the century.
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." Full summary » | Full synopsis »
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Won Oscar. Another 37 wins & 9 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
a fascinating and even wondrous man caught in a beautiful movie, not just documentary See more (119 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Philippe Petit ... 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)

Paul McGill ... 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)
David Roland Frank ... Alan - Drama Reconstructions (as David Frank)
Megan Delay ... The Admirer - Drama Reconstructions
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Laurence Gates ... Dentist (uncredited)
Joel Ney ... 1970s Police Officer #1 (uncredited)

Robert Sciglimpaglia ... Pedestrian / Ford Mustang Driver (uncredited)

Directed by
James Marsh 
Writing credits
Philippe Petit (book "To Reach The Clouds")

Produced by
Simon Chinn .... producer
Liz Fay .... archive producer
Nick Fraser .... executive producer: BBC
Victoria Gregory .... co-producer
Jonathan Hewes .... executive producer
Andrea Meditch .... executive producer: Discovery Films
Maureen A. Ryan .... co-producer
Original Music by
Michael Nyman 
J. Ralph (segment "WTC Heist")
Cinematography by
Igor Martinovic (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Jinx Godfrey 
Makeup Department
Maria Cancreti .... hair stylist assistant: New York
Maria Cancreti .... makeup artist assistant: New York
Sherri Berman Laurence .... chief hair artist: New York (as Sherri Laurence)
Sherri Berman Laurence .... chief makeup artist: New York (as Sherri Laurence)
Virginia Meyers .... hair stylist assistant: New York (as Virgina Meyers)
Virginia Meyers .... makeup artist assistant: New York (as Virgina Meyers)
Christopher Milone .... hair stylist assistant: New York (as Chris Milone)
Christopher Milone .... makeup artist assistant: New York (as Chris Milone)
Amy Spiegel .... key hair stylist: New York
Amy Spiegel .... key makeup artist: New York
Production Management
W. Clark Bunting .... executive in charge of production: Discovery (as Clark Bunting)
Helena Ely .... head of production
John B. Ford .... executive in charge of production: Discovery (as John Ford)
Olivia Foster .... production manager: Discovery
Kate George .... post-production manager
Nelson Khoury .... production supervisor: New York
Marc Linmore .... production manager: Discovery
Fiona Morham .... head of production: UK Film Council
Kathy O'Donnell .... production director: for Philippe Petit
Magdalena Sole .... unit production manager: New York
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Eric Berkal .... second assistant director: New York
Curtis Smith .... first assistant director: New York
Dan Taggatz .... second second assistant director: New York
Art Department
Marcelo Alves .... art production assistant: New York
Nicole Arendt .... carpenter: New York
Kit Bland .... art production assistant: New York (as Christopher Bland)
Joe Cairo .... carpenter: New York (as Joseph Cairo)
April Cary .... set dresser: New York
Jeanine Christiansen .... set dresser: New York
Jessica Cimoch .... art production assistant: New York
Stephen Cipoletto .... carpenter: New York
Richard Daniel Cohen .... set carpenter: New York (as Rich Cohen)
Gonzalo Cordoba .... property master: New York
Milton Dean .... carpenter: New York
Jacob Eben .... set dresser: New York
Nate Gallup .... carpenter: New York
Roxy Gillespie .... leadperson: New York
Kelly Hudson .... art production assistant: New York
Thomas Leach .... carpenter: New York
Sharon Lomofsky .... production designer: New York
Daniel Lugo .... art production assistant: New York
Douglas Lunt .... set dresser: New York (as Doug Lunt)
Simone McLaughlin .... art production assistant: New York
James Moritz .... set dresser: New York
Jason Murphee .... painter: New York (as Jason Murphree)
Nikia Nelson .... set decorator: New York
Pamela Nullet .... art production assistant: New York
Diana Puntar .... set construction head: New York
Juli Raja .... painter: New York
Carlos Vidal .... carpenter: New York
Bentley Wood .... assistant property master: New York
Sound Department
James Cullen .... assistant sound re-recording mixer
Giancarlo Dellapina .... sound recordist: second unit, Paris
Claire Ellis .... sound editor
George Foulgham .... sound re-recording mixer
Claire Mahoney .... foley artist
Lisa-Marie McStay .... sound editor (as Lisa McMahon)
Steven Robinson .... sound recordist: New York
Visual Effects by
Demian Cacciolo .... digital image scanning: Duggal
Simon Clarke .... visual effects supervisor: Clarke Associates
Michael Illingworth .... digital rostrum: Clarke Associates
Tim Kilgour .... 3D animator: Clarke Associates
Teni Noravian .... digital compositor: Clarke Associates
Paul Roberts .... 2D animator: Clarke Associates
Serdar Simga .... digital matte painter: Clarke Associates
Lucy Teire .... visual effects producer: Clarke Associates
Mark J. Flores Corpuz .... digital compositor (uncredited)
Adam Rowland .... digital compositor (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Rik Andino .... strike crew: New York
David Anthony .... strike crew: New York
Gordon Arkenberg .... first assistant camera: New York (as Gorden Arkenberg)
Jonathan Bellet .... camera operator: second unit, Paris
Buck Berk .... camera loader: New York
Richard Brodet .... gaffer: second unit, Paris
René Crout .... first assistant camera: New York (as Rene Crout)
David Dilley .... still photographer: New York
Corey Eisenstein .... strike crew: New York
John Frisbie .... gaffer: New York
James Gray .... generator operator: New York, TCI
T.J. Hellmuth .... electrician: New York (as TJ Hallmuth)
Kevin Hunt .... grip: documentary, New York
Aaron Jacobs .... grip: New York
Chris Jara .... best boy electric: New York
Bryan Landes .... strike crew: New York
Damon Lemay .... first assistant camera: New York (as Damon LeMay)
Nick Maczka .... grip: New York (as Nick Macska)
James Madrid .... camera loader: New York
Patrick Murray .... electrician: New York
Megan Nole .... grip: New York
Aaron Randall .... dolly grip: New York
Aaron Randall .... key grip: New York
Kelly J. Richardson .... crane operator: New York (as Kelly Richardson)
Steven Robinson .... digital imaging technician: New York
Ethan Rosenduft .... strike crew: New York
Meg Schrock .... electrician: New York
Rick Siegel .... additional cinematographer: New York
Brian Smith .... grip: New York
Elizabeth Stern .... strike crew: New York
Chris Varga .... gaffer: documentary, New York
John Vendetti .... best boy grip: New York
Lee Vickery .... first assistant camera: New York
George Santo Pietro .... dolly grip: additional photography (uncredited)
Casting Department
Adine Duron .... casting director: New York
Steve Zak .... extras casting production assistant: New York
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Melinda Basaca .... wardrobe assistant: New York
Meghan Corea .... wardrobe assistant: New York
Andrea Grogan .... wardrobe intern: New York
Kathryn Nixon .... costume designer: New York
Editorial Department
Chi Yoon Chung .... assistant editor
Molly Condit .... assistant editor
Joseph Dillingham .... assistant editor (as Joe Dillingham)
Adam Downey .... on-line editor
Justin Eely .... on-line editor
Richard Klein .... commissioning editor: BBC
Anne Monnehay .... assistant editor
Luke Rainey .... film colorist
Greg Sanderson .... editorial executive: BBC
Andrew Dearnley .... digital film supervisor (uncredited)
Steve Knight .... digital intermediate technician (uncredited)
Andy Richards .... senior digital intermediate technician (uncredited)
Gareth Spensley .... additional colorist (uncredited)
Music Department
Brian Binsack .... scoring second engineer
John Boughtwood .... music consultant
Bub Jess .... music arranger: WTC heist music
Bub Jess .... music producer: WTC heist music
Gary Morris .... music studio coordinator
Arthur Pingrey .... music co-producer: WTC heist music
Arthur Pingrey .... music programming
Arthur Pingrey .... pro tools operator: music
Transportation Department
Ramon Morillo .... driver: cast (uncredited)
Other crew
Simone Abecassis .... production accountant
Luis Arias .... production assistant: New York
Danielle Beeber .... assistant production coordinator: New York
Alexandre Berman .... assistant: Philippe Petit, second unit, Paris
Isabelle Berman .... location fixer: second unit, Paris
Daniel Briggs .... production assistant: New York
Janice Brown .... insurance: Ventura Insurance, New York
Sarah Caughey .... additional legal services: Olswang, New York
Janell Coles .... legal and business affairs: Discovery
Leonard Crooks .... head of New Cinema Fund: UK Film Council (as Lenny Crooks)
Alison Dalton .... production assistant: New York (as Alision Dalton)
David Dilley .... stills photography
Phil Dorling .... production assistant: New York
Annette Drees .... script supervisor: New York (as Annette M. Drees)
Laetitia Ducom .... production coordinator: second unit, Paris
Jason Emerton .... legal and business affairs: BBC
Linzy Emery .... transcription services: New York
Valerie Fanarjian .... production assistant: New York
Tahar Guendouzi .... runner: second unit, Paris
Sharoya Hall .... production assistant: New York
Robin Hilton .... legal services: Red Box Films, New York
Tom Horovitch .... legal and business affairs
Claire Hungate .... legal and business affairs
Himesh Kar .... senior executive: UK Film Council
Matt Katzive .... communications: Discovery
James Kay .... additional legal services: Olswang, New York
Gabe Kolodny .... production assistant: New York
Johanna Kovitz .... transcription services: New York
Jo Lapping .... strand executive: BBC
Al Lazzio .... archery consultant: New York
Jon Lerner .... legal and business affairs: Discovery
Patrick Mahoney .... craft service: New York
Lindsay Mattson .... key production assistant: New York
Louis Menchise .... production assistant: New York
Cassie Mensah .... legal and business affairs
Ramon Morillo .... production assistant: New York
Alex Panagakis .... publicist
Amanda Pyne .... production finance: UK Film Council
David Reefer .... production assistant: New York
Daniel Rutledge .... production assistant: New York
Lin Saunders .... location scout: New York (as Tswana Lin Saunders)
Julie Sibony .... production assistant: second unit, Paris
Julie Sibony .... translator: second unit, Paris
Gab Taraboulsy .... translation services: New York
Darapon Vongsa-Nga .... production coordinator: post production
Samantha Waite .... production coordinator: New York
Claire Warnes .... senior business affairs executive: UK Film Council
Claire Witham .... production coordinator
Rob van de Laar .... craft service (uncredited)
Nathan Adams .... special thanks
Annie Allix .... special thanks
Étienne Becker .... acknowledgment: training camp footage (as Etienne Becker)
Jean-Louis Blondeau .... acknowledgment: stills courtesy of Polaris Images
Jean-Louis Blondeau .... special thanks
Lara Bobroff .... special thanks
Yves Bourde .... acknowledgment: training camp footage
Catherine Dolto .... special thanks
Jean-Pierre Dousseau .... acknowledgment: stills
Nathalie Enterline .... special thanks
Raimi Fasula-Moore .... special thanks
Cordia Gypsy Fasula-Petit .... dedicatee: this film is for
Barry Greenhouse .... special thanks (as N. Barry Greenhouse)
Haroun Hameed .... special thanks
Loretta Harris .... acknowledgment: stills
Jean François Heckel .... acknowledgment: stills (as Jean-François Heckel)
Jean François Heckel .... special thanks (as Jean-François Heckel)
John Kahn .... special thanks
T.J. Kellogg .... special thanks
Robert L. Lasky .... special thanks
Mark Lewis .... special thanks
Anne Mette Lundtofte .... special thanks
Anna May Marsh .... special thanks
Keith McNally .... special thanks
Dara McQuillan .... special thanks
Jim Moore .... acknowledgment: stills courtesy of Polaris Images
Kathy O'Donnell .... special thanks
Alain Petit .... special thanks
Léo Petit .... special thanks
Joaquin Diego Prange .... special thanks (as J. Diego Prange)
James Ricketson .... acknowledgment: archive, Sydney Harbour Bridge
Rebecca Saletan .... special thanks
Lucy Scala .... special thanks
Bob Schuler .... acknowledgment: archive
Rebecca Shalomoff .... special thanks
James Signorelli .... special thanks
Sam Szafran .... special thanks
Catherine Teegarden .... special thanks
Guy F. Tozzoli .... special thanks
Jemila Twinch .... special thanks
Michel Vionnet .... acknowledgment: training camp footage (as Michel Vionet)
Lynn Wagenknecht .... special thanks
Matt Warshaw .... special thanks (as Matthew Warshaw)

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated PG-13 for some sexuality and nudity, and drug references
USA:94 min | USA:90 min (Sundance Film Festival)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:PG | Canada:PG (British Columbia/Ontario) (Canadian Home Video rating) | Canada:G (Quebec) | Germany:6 | Ireland:12A | Portugal:M/6 | Singapore:NC-16 | South Korea:12 | Sweden:Btl | Switzerland:10 (canton of Geneva) | Switzerland:10 (canton of Vaud) | UK:12 | USA:PG-13

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 »
Anachronisms: 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 »
Gnossienne No. 1See more »


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29 out of 39 people found the following review useful.
a fascinating and even wondrous man caught in a beautiful movie, not just documentary, 9 August 2008
Author: MisterWhiplash from United States

I went to see Man on Wire with my mother and a friend, and after it my mother said simply "something like this will never happen again." Meaning not so much that someone won't try something death-defying or crazy like walking a tight rope somewhere or climbing up a building (matter of fact that still happens in Manhattan as recently as a couple of months back), but that this sort of situation- a man going across something as perilous and unique as the Twin Towers- is based in a film that preserves his story like so. Philippe Petit was already a tight-rope walker who did some crazy stunts (i.e. crossing Notre Dame's stretch of space in Paris), but this was his crowning achievement which, oddly enough, didn't quite get the kind of buzz the film might depict; the day of Petit's walk across the towers, Nixon resigned from the presidency.

Just a simple profile on the man might be enough, and hearing this artist (however "French" he might get in saying that it's like poetry, which maybe it is for all I know) is something to behold as a figure who sees himself as a rebel but not without some reason or in what he does. But Marsh's magnificence is first to actually make us forget, just a second, that the towers are no longer with us; it's never mentioned in the film that they're gone, so the lingering absence is all the more troubling once remembered by the viewer. One is left with the purity of this on-the-surface stunt that becomes akin to a bank robbery to Petit, as he plans and spies on the site and forms a 'crew' to do the job of sneaking up to the top level and for three days continuing to stay elusive (even going under a tarp for hours on end with a co-hort to hide from guards) while attaching the cables- which also, at one point, nearly falls apart as a plan.

Then, second, Marsh reveals himself as good as a director of dramatization in a documentary I've seen since Errol Morris; perhaos even more daring with his black and white photography of what starts as a sneak-in (watch for fake sideburns on the actors), then transforms into a full-blown noir with beautiful lighting and exterior shots of the building and other angles that just stun the crap out of a viewer not expecting such artistry. In a sense Marsh is attempting something as daring as Petit, only by way of telling the story, however non-linearly, in a manner that should get his DP an academy nomination (if, of course, the academy ever got wise to nominate for cinematography for a documentary). And, on top of this, despite knowing partially the outcome- mainly, of course, that Petit lived to tell his tale to the camera as did his (once) friends and lover- it's still thrilling and even suspenseful to see all of this buildup if one isn't entirely researched on the details.

But it's not just about the build-up and execution of that tight-rope walk, although when Marsh gets the chance to show his subject walking across this or other examples he puts it to beautiful, heart-aching music that transcends the material just enough. The man himself, and the people who knew and/or worked under him, takes up most of the time in the story. Petit is a curious fellow who can ramble like any energetic and, obviously, passionate Frenchman, and confesses how he's always been a climber since a child and loves the aspect of showmanship when he can (when not wire walking, he juggles and rides a unicycle, a lovely if strange clown).

We also see his effect on others, like his friend Jean-Louis who co-planned the WTC project, and his lover Annie Alix who found him irrisistable and barely spent a moment worrying what would happen to him. And then there's the assorted 'characters', like in any good noir, that spring up as entertaining and interesting both in present and retrospect form; even a guy with one of those *real* twirling moustaches comes forward and talks, as well as one particular member of the crew who spent 35 years smoking pot and also during the WTC job (Marsh has a wonderful way of sort of 'introducing' them as well, in a walk-in profile and name tag). Hearing them expound about the mechanics of the job, and of Petit's personality and effect on them all, for better or worse as a kind of partially blind optimist, is also a major part of the appeal in Man on Wire.

While Marsh possibly leaves out some possibly intriguing details about Petit after this job ends (save for the immediate details about his sentence and a brief, Clockwork Orange-filmed 'fling' with a local girl), and here and there finding him or even the film pretentious isn't out of the question, so much of it is alive and enthralling and even spiritual to a certain degree that I could forigve most of its possible faults. Just seeing some of that 8mm and film footage, shot at the practice sites, and the stills of Petit's walk late in life, is something that's hard to even put into words how to feel. I'm almost reminded of the wonder one feels when seeing the physically demanding art of Jean-Cristo, who also finds specific locations to pursue his craft. You can't say it specifically, but you know it's art, as is Marsh's film itself.

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