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Man on Wire (2008)

Director(s): James Marsh

Theatrical Release: 2008

Cast: Philippe Petit, Annie Allix, Jean-Louis Blondeau, David Foreman, Barry Greenhouse, Jean-Francois Heckel

Genre(s): Documentary, biography, culture, crime, Dean's List

Countries: USA, United Kingdom

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Ant Rating
Running Time: 94m.

On August 7, 1974, a 24-year-old French high-wire artist named Philippe Petit committed one of the most astonishing performance stunts of the late 20th century: he strung a thin cable in between the two towers of the World Trade Center and not only walked across, from one building to another, but did a nerve-wracking series of knee-bends and acrobatic movements on the cable, some 1,350 feet above the ground, before turning himself in. This occurred to the consternation and chagrin of Port Authority policemen, who immediately arrested Petit for the act -- prompting many to dub Petit's stunt "the artistic crime of the century." James Marsh's documentary Man on Wire revisits and recounts this chain of events some 34 years after they occurred. (

Member Reviews

and what the hell have I done with MY life? by C20004656 - January 6, 2009
Not, maybe, a perfect documentary (you can decide whether the reenactments bug you or not), but you can't argue with the sheer awesomeness of the subject matter. As reassuring as it is to see Petit alive and well and agreeably hamming it up as he tells his story, somehow the climactic wirewalk is still a nail-biter. But, as Petit's old girlfriend sighs, "Tellement beau!" Two points deducted: how can there be so much good footage of the young Petit practicing in a field, talking with his friends, juggling on the streets, and nothing but still images of the WTC walk? (Almost made up, however, by the generous special feature documentary of his Sydney Harbour Bridge walk.)