Groundhog Day

February 12th, 1993

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Groundhog Day

Still of Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell in Groundhog DayStill of Brian Doyle-Murray in Groundhog DayStill of Andie MacDowell in Groundhog DayStill of Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell in Groundhog DayStill of Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell in Groundhog DayStill of Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell and Chris Elliott in Groundhog Day

A weatherman finds himself living the same day over and over again.

Release Year: 1993

Rating: 8.1/10 (195,005 voted)

Critic's Score: 72/100

Director: Harold Ramis

Stars: Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott

A weather man is reluctantly sent to cover a story about a weather forecasting "rat" (as he calls it). This is his fourth year on the story, and he makes no effort to hide his frustration. On awaking the 'following' day he discovers that it's Groundhog Day again, and again, and again. First he uses this to his advantage, then comes the realisation that he is doomed to spend the rest of eternity in the same place, seeing the same people do the same thing EVERY day.

Writers: Danny Rubin, Harold Ramis

Bill Murray - Phil
Andie MacDowell - Rita
Chris Elliott - Larry
Stephen Tobolowsky - Ned
Brian Doyle-Murray - Buster
Marita Geraghty - Nancy
Angela Paton - Mrs. Lancaster
Rick Ducommun - Gus
Rick Overton - Ralph
Robin Duke - Doris the Waitress
Carol Bivins - Anchorwoman
Willie Garson - Phil's Assistant Kenny
Ken Hudson Campbell - Man in Hallway
Les Podewell - Old Man
Rod Sell - Groundhog Official

Taglines: He's having the day of his life...over and over again.

Release Date: 12 February 1993

Filming Locations: Algonquin, Illinois, USA

Opening Weekend: $14,600,000 (USA)

Gross: $70,906,973 (USA)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

The scene where Bill Murray gets out of the news van and talks to the state trooper was filmed on the Amstutz Expressway under the Grand Avenue overpass just outside of downtown Waukegan, IL. You can see the Waukegan business district in some of the shots. The Amstutz Expressway was also used for the filming of the big chase scene in the The Blues Brothers.

Revealing mistakes: The north side of the plaza (filmed in Woodstock, Illinois) is shown when the insurance man appears. There is a store with a large "WOODSTOCK" sign, although the town is supposed to be Punxsutawney, PA.

[first lines]
Phil: Somebody asked me today, "Phil, if you could be anywhere in the world, where would you like to be?" And I said to him, "Prob'ly right here - Elko, Nevada, our nation's high at 79 today." Out in California, they're gonna have some warm weather tomorrow, gang wars, and some *very* overpriced real estate. Up in the Pacific Northwest, as you can see, they're gonna have some very, very tall trees.

User Review

Much, much more than just a comedy

Rating: 10/10

Taken as a light comedy, this movie would rate perhaps eight stars out of ten. But it's much, much more than just a light comedy. It is, in fact, utterly unique. The character of Phil Connors, played by Bill Murray, is, quite literally, a man without a future.

What do we gain from watching this movie? Different people will take away different things from it. I discovered two very important truths in Groundhog Day.

One was the importance of concentrating on the things that last. Phil Connors must live the same day over and over again, and is forced to realize that the only real change that will ever be possible must happen within himself. (From this it is a short leap to the realization that this is the only kind of change that really matters; for in his case, it is literally true.) It is at this point that he takes up piano, begins reading, learns to ice-sculpt. But if it weren't for his unique predicament, he never would have realized this; in his routine at the TV studio back in Pittsburgh, we surmise, there was always something changing...and not changing. (It is interesting that Phil is a weatherman: the weather is a perfect metaphor for something that changes constantly...without, in the long term, changing at all.) We can be distracted by the superficial changes in the world around us, and forget that real change in our lives must come from within. This was the great gift of Groundhog Day for Phil Connors: the chance to discover this truth for himself.

The other thing I noticed, while reflecting on this movie, is how uncertainty can keep us from charitable acts. We use our ignorance like a crutch: we don't give to charity because it may be a scam, we don't offer to help someone because they may not need help anyway, and so on. But Phil doesn't have the luxury of ignorance. He knows...he knows with absolute certainty that if he doesn't buy the old man a bowl of soup, that man will die in the streets within a few hours. He knows that if he isn't on hand at the right time, a boy will fall from a tree and break his neck. Faced with such knowledge, even Phil, self-absorbed as he is, cannot stand by idly. Nor could we, in his position. This is a powerful argument for knowledge as the most reliable foundation for generous behavior. What other movie can offer an insight half so profound?

Many more truths can be mined from this movie. As others have said, this is a thought experiment that went very well indeed--better than anything I've ever seen on the Big Screen. As such, I'd vote for it as one of the greatest movies ever made, and very likely the most underrated movie ever made.

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