Man on Wire

Man on Wire

James Marsh (2007)

12A Certificate


Our Score
One man's determination to walk a tightrope between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York is detailed in this jaw-dropping blend of traditional talking-head interviews, archive footage and meticulous period re-creation. Its subject, charismatic Frenchman Philippe Petit, is a joy to watch, an ebullient mix of elegant mime artist Marcel Marceau and cartoon dervish Road Runner, and the film offers a deceptively sturdy sounding board for his often crazy ideas. This is not so much a documentary as a true-life heist movie in which the "crime" is a death-defying conceptual art event: Petit and his accomplices spent months planning their "coup", and his boyhood dream finally came true 1,350 feet above the streets of Manhattan in 1974. Sadly, no video footage exists of Petit's 45-minute walk, but director James Marsh expertly captures the vertiginous thrills of that incredible day, leaving one not just with a sense of wonder but a profound sense of admiration for the rigorous preparation and heady commitment that made it all possible.


Oscar-winning documentary about French street performer Philippe Petit. In 1974 he undertook a daring 45-minute tightrope walk and acrobatic routine on a wire stretched between the two towers of the World Trade Centre. Featuring re-creations of his earlier stunts at Paris's Notre Dame cathedral and Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Cast & Crew

Philippe Petit Philippe Petit
Jean-Louis Blondeau Jean-Louis Blondeau
Annie Allix Annie Allix
Jean-François Heckel Jean-François Heckel
Philippe Petit Paul McGill
Jean-Louis Blondeau David Demato
Annie Allix Ardis Campbell
Jean-François Heckel Aaron Haskell
Director James Marsh
see more

Other Information

Language: English, French +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: IconGuidance: Contains some nudity. Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 1 Aug 2008