The Walk

Synopsis: Twelve people have walked on the moon, but only one man - Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) - has ever, or will ever, walk in the immense void between the World Trade Center towers. Guided by his real-life mentor, Papa Rudy (Ben Kingsley), and aided by an unlikely band of international recruits, Petit and his gang overcome long odds, betrayals, dissension and countless close calls to conceive and execute their mad plan. Robert Zemeckis, the director of such marvels as Forrest Gump, Cast Away, Back to the Future, Polar Express and Flight, again uses cutting edge technology in the service of an emotional, character-driven story. With innovative photorealistic techniques and IMAX 3D wizardry, The Walk is true big-screen cinema, a chance for moviegoers to viscerally experience the feeling of reaching the clouds. The film, a PG-rated, all-audience entertainment for moviegoers 8 to 80, unlike anything audiences have seen before, is a love letter to Paris and New York City in the 1970s, b
Director(s): Robert Zemeckis
Production: Sony Pictures
  3 wins & 17 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
123 min


That is the question people ask me most.

Why? For what?

Why do you walk on the wire?

Why do you tempt fate?

Why do you risk death?


I don't think of it this way.

I never even say this word.


Yes, okay, I said it once or, or,

maybe three times just now.

But watch, I will not say it again.

Instead, I use the opposite word.


For me, to walk on the wire, this is life.


picture with me, it's 1974, New York City,

and I am in love with two buildings,

two towers.

Or as everyone in the world calls them,

the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.

They call to me,

these towers,

they stir something inside of me,

and they inspire in me, a dream.

My dream

is to hang a high wire

between those Twin Towers,

and walk on it.

Of course, uh, this is impossible,

not to mention illegal.

So, why attempt the impossible?

Why follow your dream?

But I cannot answer this question, "Why?"

Not with words.

But I can show you how it happened.

And so, we must go back in time

and across the ocean,

because my love affair with these

beautiful towers did not begin in New York.

In case you couldn't

tell, I'm not from here.

No. My story begins in another one

of the world's most beautiful cities.

C'est Paris.

So, now, picture Paris.

Here I am, a self-proclaimed wire walker

that nobody on earth cares about,

surviving as a troubadour

performing in the streets.

I've created a character. I have a top hat.

I wear only black. I teach myself to draw

a perfect circle on the ground,

and within this circle, I never speak,

not one word.

The circle is my domain,

and I don't allow

even half of a toe inside of it.

And if the spectators continue to

violate my sacred space,

well, I must employ more drastic measures.

I perform for anyone who will watch me,

and people love it.

Man, woman, young, old, everyone.

Except, of course, the police.

I don't believe in getting a permit.

But no matter where I was going

or what I was doing,

I was always searching,

looking for the perfect

place to hang my wire.

I have a horrible toothache.

I need to see a dentist right away!

Did you call for an appointment?

I don't have a telephone.

You'll have to wait.

But madame... please?

It shouldn't be more than two hours.

You expect me to suffer like this

for hours?

I hope I don't collapse from

the pain.

Suddenly, I freeze.

The pain in my tooth is gone.

In the magazine, there's an article

with an illustration about the towers.

They're not even finished yet,

but the magazine says that once they are,

they will be the tallest in the world.

And with this tiny pencil stroke,

my fate was sealed.

This was the beginning of my dream.

The first time I ever saw a wire walker,

I was eight years old.

The circus had come to my town,

and it featured

The Omankowsky Family Troupe,

one of the greatest wire-walking troupes

in the world.

The White Devils.

My son, the circus clown.

And I teach myself to walk on that rope.

And it turns out, I have some talent

for climbing and balancing, even juggling.

But I want to know more.


Get down from there!

So this is how

I meet Rudy Omankowsky, Sr.,

the patriarch of The White Devils

wire-walking family,

who everybody calls "Papa Rudy."

He would never say

exactly where he was from.

He was certainly not French.

Papa Rudy was

a supreme wire walker, acrobat and juggler.

And in that moment,

I suppose he saw something in me.


I don't speak Czech.


- I speak English.

- Okay.

Today, you're going to learn

how to make entrance.

You need to learn how to compliment.

"Compliment?" What's that?

A compliment is a silent message,

an order to the audience to pay attention.

And after the performance, a compliment

is also an offering of gratitude.

A salute.



Okay, okay, okay, okay.

No, Philippe.

That was terrible.

You're doing too much. Eh?

Do nothing. Now, try again.

No! I said, "Do nothing!"

You're still doing too much!

You look like a coward.

The audience must always feel

you are in control.

Stop trying so hard! Huh?

Do nothing. Do it again.

Ah! Where's your respect? You didn't do


But you said to do nothing!

Do nothing on the outside. Hmm.

On the inside, in your

heart, you must salute.

"In my heart?"

What the hell are you talking about?

But the performer must have

an honest respect

and gratitude for the audience.

But why should I respect the audience?

It is me on the wire.

You will salute the

audience and pay respect!

There is no show

without an audience!

Unless you understand that,

you will never perform in circus.

Good, okay, me,

I don't want to perform in the circus.

I am not some ridiculous circus clown.

I am an artist!

So, just like that,

Papa Rudy threw my artistic little ass

out into the street.

And, a short time later...

You waste your life

with your stupid circus tricks!

Wire-walking won't put bread

on your table!

Could we give him

one last chance?


The carrots are cooked.

That's right! The carrots are cooked!


The carrots were cooked.

There was nothing left to do.

So, I set off on my way.

I didn't even know what I was looking for,

but I figured I might find it in Paris.

And you want to travel with...

I had a great thing going,

until you showed up.

Can you hear me now?

A mime who speaks?

I'm not a mime.

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Robert Zemeckis

Robert Lee Zemeckis is an American film director, film producer, and screenwriter who is frequently credited as an innovator in visual effects. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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