The Walk



In 1974 Philippe Petit famously wire-walked between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center – and lived to tell the tale.


  Walk, The


French juggler, unicyclist and wire-walker Philippe Petit, ekes out a modest career as a Paris street performer. Having been obsessed with circus wire acts from boyhood, when he sees a magazine picture of the New York World Trade Center’s twin peaks he yearns to walk the walk on a high wire between the two monoliths. Gathering together a team to help him, he rehearses by walking between the towers of Notre Dame and, although the gang are arrested, they still plan to go to New York. On arrival they pretend to be part of the Twin Towers’ construction team and covertly set up their equipment.


Robert Zemeckis’ film is a dramatisation of the events depicted in Petit’s book and in James Marsh’s 2008 documentary film Man on Wire. Even though we know that the crossing was successful, the film still manages to keep us guessing. Seeing it in 3D and IMAX makes the film even more thrilling, especially with its incredible special visual effects that have one gasping in disbelief. Joseph Levitt-Gordon as Petit is a real charmer as he tells his story in flashback and his co-conspirators make a good back-up team. Charlotte Le Bon is a delight as Petit’s romantic love interest and Ben Kingsley does some scene-stealing as Papa Rudy, the circus veteran whose Big Top provided Petit with his inspiration. The feel-good factor is here in spades as we ache to see Petit fulfil his dream of crossing the line between those once iconic New York landmarks.




Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ben Kingsley, Charlotte Le Bon, Clément Sibony, Steve Valentine, James Badge Dale, Ben Schwartz, Benedict Samuel.


Dir Robert Zemeckis, Pro Zemeckis, Steve Starkey and Jack Rapke, Screenplay Zemeckis and Christopher Browne, based on the book To Reach the Clouds by Philippe Petit, Ph Dariusz Wolski, Pro Des Naomi Shohan, Ed Jeremiah O’Driscoll, M Alan Silvestri, Cos Suttirat Anne Larlarb.


Sony Pictures Entertainment/Tri-Star Productions/ImageMovers-Sony Pictures. 

123 mins. USA. 2015. Rel: 9 October 2015. Cert. PG.