The Man Who Walked Between the Towers (2005) Movie Script

Once there were two towers side by side.
They were each a quarter of a mile high.
1340 feet.
The tallest buildings in New York City.
A young man saw them rise into the sky.
He was a street performer.
He rode a unicycle.
He juggled balls
and fiery torches.
But most of all he loved to walk and dance
on a rope he tied between two trees.
He looked not at the towers
but at the space between them.
And thought:
"What a wonderful place to stretch a rope!"
"A wire on which to walk!"
Once the idea came to him
he knew he had to do it.
If he saw three balls he had to juggle.
If he saw two towers he had to walk.
That's how he was.
Hadn't he danced on a wire
between the steeples of Notre Dame Cathedral
above his amazed home city, Paris?
Why not here?
Between these two towers?
Of course he knew that, as in Paris,
the police and the owners of the towers
would never allow it.
"You must be crazy!" - they would say.
"You'd fall for sure!"
And so Philippe
- that was the young man's name -
began a plan to do it secretly.
"The buildings are not quite finished!"
- he thought.
"Maybe if I dressed as a construction worker!"
Early on an august evening
he and a friend entered the South Tower.
They got a 440 pound reel of cable
and other equipment into the elevator.
Took it to the unfinished top 10 floors.
And waited till nightfall
when everyone had gone.
Then they carried everything up
180 stairs to the roof.
At midnight on the other tower's roof,
two more friends tied
a thin, strong line to an arrow
and shot it across to Philippe.
140 feet away.
It missed.
And landed on a ledge
15 feet below the roof.
"Bad luck!" - thought Philippe.
He crawled down to the ledge,
over the sparkling city, and got the arrow.
To its line he tied a stronger line,
which his friends pulled back to their tower.
To his end of the stronger line,
Philippe tied the cable
on which he would walk.
It was 7/8 of an inch thick.
His friends pulled the cable
over to their tower.
But it was so heavy
that it slipped from Philippe's grip.
The cable's middle plummeted
toward the street,
pulling their friends on the other tower
to the very edge.
Philippe, just in time,
secured his end.
It took three hours
to pull the cable back up.
Franticly, as the stars faded,
they tightened it between the towers.
It was past dawn before they were ready.
Philippe put on his black shirt and tights.
He picked up his 28 foot balancing pole.
All his life he had worked to be here.
To do this.
As the rising sun lit up the towers,
out he stepped onto the wire.
Out to the very middle he walked,
as if he were walking on the air itself.
Many winds whirled up from
between the towers, and he swayed with them.
He could feel the towers breathing.
He was not afraid.
He felt alone
and happy
and absolutely free.
A women coming from the subway
might have been the first to see him.
"Look! Someone are walking
on a wire between the towers!"
Everyone stopped and looked up.
They gasped and stared.
It was astonishing.
It was terrifying and beautiful.
A quarter of a mile up in the sky
someone was dancing.
Police saw it too.
Officers rushed
to the roofs of the towers.
"You're under arrest!"
- they shouted through bullhorns.
Philippe turned
and walked the other way.
"Who would come and get him?"
For almost an hour,
back and forth,
he walked,
and knelt in a salute
upon the wire.
He even laid down to rest.
The city and harbour
spread beneath him.
The sky surrounded him.
Seagulls flew under and over.
As long as he stayed on the wire
he was free.
When he felt completely satisfied,
he walked back to the roof
and held out his wrists for the handcuffs.
They brought him to court.
The judge sentenced him to perform in the park
for the children of the city.
This he did happily.
Though during his performance
some boys playing on his wire
jerked it and Philippe felt.
But caught himself.
Now the towers are gone.
But in memory
as if imprinted on the sky,
the towers are still there.
And part of that memory
is the joyful morning,
august 7th, 1974,
when Pilippe Petit
walked between them
in the air.