Man on Wire

Published on 13th April 2017 by

Academy Award winning 2008 documentary chronicling Philippe Petit’s 1974 high-wire walk between the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York, the name of the documentary is based on a police report taken at the scene which led to Petit’s later arrest for the stunt. The film covers his preparations for the stunt and includes numerous still photographs of the walk itself and interviews with various people who were involved in planning and executing the stunt, one of those interviewed for the film is Barry Greenhouse a former insurance executive who was the ‘inside man’ that got Petit into the towers.

This feature length biographical documentary was largely based on Petit’s own autobiographical book To Reach the Clouds, which was released in paperback edition with the title Man on Wire. The film was successful at the box office, with investors in the film realising a profit, and it won awards at numerous festivals including the prestigious Sundance Film Festival. It was also at once stage the second best rated film on Rotten Tomatoes. The films director James Marsh would later declare that the film was a gift to New Yorkers, stating that they could now associate the twin towers with the wire walk instead of the terrorists attacks of September 11th.


Philippe Petit published his own account fo the walk in 2008, Man on Wire, in which he recounts the six years he spent preparing for the walk and the events of the day itself. It was this book, initially titled To Reach the Clouds, which inspired the Academy Award Winning documentary of the same name. It is available to purchase in paperback, hardback, and audiobook editions.

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