The story of "Lunch atop a Skyscraper," the iconic photograph taken during the construction of 30 Rockefeller Plaza.


Seán Ó Cualáin


Niall Murphy
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Fionnula Flanagan ... Narrator (voice)
Peter Quinn ... Self - Author
Ric Burns Ric Burns ... Self - Documentary Film Director
Christine Roussel Christine Roussel ... Self - Archiving Specialist, Rockefeller Center
Jim Rasenberger Jim Rasenberger ... Self - Non-Fiction Author
Sergio Ferrari Sergio Ferrari ... Self - Sculptor
Dan Barry Dan Barry ... Self - Reporter, The New York Times
Richard J. Schuler Richard J. Schuler ... Self - Iron Worker
Kevin P. Murphy Kevin P. Murphy ... Self - Iron Worker
Joe Woolhead Joe Woolhead ... Self - Photographer
Maria Tecce Maria Tecce ... Self - Singer
Ken Johnston Ken Johnston ... Self - Archivist, Corbis Images
Michael Whelan Michael Whelan ... Self - Pub Landlord, Shanaglish, Ireland
Douglas Whelan Douglas Whelan ... Self
Anne Whelan Anne Whelan ... Self


New York City, 1932. The country is in the throes of the Great Depression, the previous decade's boom of Italian, Irish, and Jewish immigrants has led to unprecedented urban expansion, and in the midst of an unseasonably warm autumn, steelworkers risk life and limb building skyscrapers high above the streets of Manhattan. In Men at Lunch, director Seán Ó Cualáin tells the story of "Lunch atop a Skyscraper," the iconic photograph taken during the construction of 30 Rockefeller Plaza that depicts eleven workmen taking their lunch break while casually perched along a steel girder - boots dangling 850 feet above the sidewalk, Central Park and the misty Manhattan skyline stretching out behind them. For 80 years, the identity of the eleven men - and the photographer that Immortalized them - remained a mystery: their stories, lost in time, subsumed by the fame of the image itself. But then, at the start of the 21st century, the photograph finally began to give up some of its secrets. Part ... Written by First Run Features

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Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


In the era when the Empire State Building & Rockefeller Center were built, developers factored in one dead worker for every twelve floors. See more »


References On the Town (1949) See more »

User Reviews

The Iconic Photo of Men at Lunch Gets The Documentary It Deserves
20 November 2017 | by bettycjungSee all my reviews

11/20/17. There is, perhaps, no other photo of men at work, sitting and eating lunch on an iron girder, hanging mid-air, high up in front of the New York City skyline, that captures how immigrants to the U.S. built the America we know today. Interesting look at researching who these men were and the photographers who took the photos, mostly for newspapers, makes for an interesting watch.

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Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]




English | Irish

Release Date:

1 September 2014 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Los hombres de la viga See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,530, 22 September 2013

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

Sónta Films See more »
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Technical Specs


| (TV) (2014)
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