Philippe Petit, Man On Wire

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It had all the glamour, conspiracy, and danger of a classic heist movie, but it was real — and the hero was wearing slippers.

Long before 9/11, Philippe Petit’s unauthorized walk on a tightrope between the World Trade Center towers in 1974 transfixed the world. It later became the subject of the 2009 Oscar-winning documentary Man on Wire.  

Kurt Andersen visits the site of the walk (now Ground Zero) with Petit and director James Marsh. “I was a young wire-walker busy conquering an idea.” Petit explains, “I never thought of the consequences.”

(Originally aired: July 25, 2008)







Video: Philippe Petit walks between the Twin Towers — a clip from Man On Wire