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Groundhog Day (1993) Poster

(1993)

Trivia

Harold Ramis considered Chevy Chase, Steve Martin and John Travolta for the role of Phil Connors, but he considered them as "far too nice" compared to Bill Murray.
Jump to: Spoilers (3)
Bill Murray was bitten by the groundhog twice during shooting. Murray had to have anti rabies injections because the bites were so severe.
According to the website Wolf Gnards, Bill Murray spends 8 years, 8 months and 16 days trapped in Groundhog Day. The website Obsessed With Film claims he was trapped 12,403 days, just under 34 years, in order to account for becoming a master piano player, ice sculptor, etc.
Not filmed in Punxsutawney, but actually in Woodstock, Illinois (just 45 miles from "Bill Murray's hometown of Wilmette). There is a small plaque that reads "Bill Murray stepped here" on the curb where Murray continually steps into a puddle. There is another plaque on the building wall at the corner that says "Ned's Corner" where Bill Murray was continually accosted by insurance salesman Ned Ryerson.
There are exactly 38 days depicted in this film either partially or in full.
Danny Rubin's first draft of the screenplay ended with Phil waking on February the 3rd to discover that Rita was trapped in a time loop of her own.
According to director Harold Ramis, most of the times when he tried to explain a scene to Bill Murray, Murray would interrupt and ask, "Just tell me - good Phil or bad Phil?"
On the DVD, Harold Ramis states that the original idea was for him to live February 2nd for about 10,000 years. Later he says that Phil probably lived the same day for about 10 years.
The scene where Phil picks up the alarm clock and slams it onto the floor didn't go as planned. Bill Murray slammed down the clock but it barely broke, so the crew bashed it with a hammer to give it the really smashed look. The clock actually continued playing the song like in the movie.
Andie MacDowell asked Harold Ramis if she could speak with her normal (and rather heavy) South Carolina accent.
Chosen to be preserved by the National Film Registry in 2007.
Bill Murray was undergoing a divorce at the time of filming and was obsessing about the film. He would ring Harold Ramis constantly, often in the early hours of the morning. Ramis eventually sent writer Danny Rubin to sit with Murray and iron out all his anxieties, one of the reasons why Murray stopped speaking to Ramis for several years.
Originally, Phil was supposed to murder the groundhog in his lair. This was changed, however, since it seemed too much like Caddyshack (1980).
Danny Rubin and Harold Ramis both said that they avoided exploring the truly dark side of Phil's time lapsing in which he could do truly horrible things without consequence (i.e. murder, torture, etc.).
Shaun Chaiyabhat, who played the boy in the tree, grew up to become a local TV news reporter just like Bill Murray's character.
Harold Ramis directed the kids in the snowball fights to hit Bill Murray as hard as they could. Murray responded by throwing snowballs back as hard as he could.
Phil at the piano teacher's house, when he is fumblingly playing Sergei Rachmaninoff's "Rhapsody on a Theme by Paginini", is actually Bill Murray playing. He does not read music, but he learned that much of the song by ear. Sergei Rachmaninoff's "Rhapsody on a Theme by Paginini", specifically its 18th Variation, was also used in another time fantasy movie, Somewhere in Time (1980).
Since the film's release, the town of Punxatawney has now become a major tourist attraction.
All the clocks in the diner are stopped, mirroring Phil's predicament.
Supposedly Paul Lynde was the inspiration for one of the film's more famous lines. After a high-speed chase through the San Fernando Valley one night when he was driving recklessly while intoxicated, Lynde crashed his car into a mailbox. The police came to the car, guns drawn, and he lowered his window and said, "I'll have a cheeseburger, hold the onions, and a large Sprite." Another account has the scene inspired by an incident involving comedian Shecky Greene in Las Vegas. One night, while intoxicated, he drove his car into the big fountain in front of Caesar's Palace. As bystanders pulled him out, with water from the fountain raining down onto his car, he shouted, "Clean the floor mats and no hot wax!"
The idea comes from 'The Gay Science', a famous book by Friedrich Nietzsche. In his book, Nietzsche gives a description of a man who is living the same day over and over again.
Bill Murray was offered a spit bucket for the diner scene where he gorges himself on pastries but he refused. The angel food cake in particular caused him to feel sick soon after.
Director Harold Ramis originally wanted Tom Hanks for the lead role, but decided against it, saying that Hanks was "too nice".
Danny Rubin and Harold Ramis wanted to add another Ned Ryerson scene at the last minute, so Stephen Tobolowsky wrote the scene where he rattles off a number of insurance policies. Tobolowsky based his character on his own insurance agent. After the movie's release, the agent called Tobolowsky to thank him for portraying agents so accurately rather than making fun of them as most movies do.
Michael Shannon's movie debut.
The song that greets Bill Murray every morning - "I've Got You Babe" by Sonny and Cher - was in Danny Rubin's original script from the very beginning.
Stephen Tobolowsky, who played Ned "the head" Reyerson the insurance agent was the honorary grand marshal in Punxsutawney, PA on Feb. 2nd, 2010. During his speech on stage he performed the "whistling belly button" act he refers to in the film.
One of the groundhog officials is Brian Doyle-Murray, one of Bill Murray's five brothers.
Unlike the scenes for the bed and breakfast, the scenes at the piano teacher's home were indeed filmed inside the actual house, right in the front room as it appears in the film.
The interiors of Bill Murray's room at the bed and breakfast were filmed in an empty warehouse in Cary, Illinois.
The song that plays over parts of the opening and closing credits is "Weatherman", co-written by George Fenton and director Harold Ramis.
In order to get the scenes to look alike many different takes were filmed in different weather conditions. Eventually Harold Ramis chose the bleak Wisconsin look for the film.
A family of groundhogs was actually raised for the production.
Writer Danny Rubin said that one of the inspirational moments in the creation of the story came after reading "Interview with the Vampire," which got him thinking about what it would be like to live forever.
In the original version of the script by Danny Rubin, Phil Connors was already trapped inside Groundhog Day at the start of the story. We joined him on a typical day, with the audience wondering how he knew everything that was going to happen. Harold Ramis promised not to change this aspect of the script, but ultimately decided to do so.
The groundhog ceremony is depicted as occurring in the center of town. Gobbler's Knob, where the ceremony takes place in real life, is a rural, wooded area, about two miles outside of Punxsutawney.
Bill Murray quotes lines from a poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, "Work Without Hope": "All Nature seems at work; slugs leave their lair, The bees are stirring; birds are on the wing, And winter, slumbering in the open air, Wears on his smiling face a dream of spring; And I, the while, the sole unbusy thing, Nor honey make, nor pair, nor build, nor sing."
Bill Murray and Harold Ramis have both been honorary grand marshals for the Groundhog Day celebrations in Punxsutawney, PA.
According to Harold Ramis' commentary in the DVD, the last scene involving Ned Reyerson involved the line (as it was written) "Oh, let's not ruin it!" from Rita. However, since Andie MacDowell was speaking in her thick native South Carolina accent, the word 'ruin' was distorted repeatedly and Ramis felt viewers would be confused by what she was trying to say. It was at that point where the word 'ruin' in the line was changed to 'spoil'.
Ramis and Danny Rubin considered including an explanation for Phil being stuck in a time loop. The possibilities included was that Phil had been cursed by a scorned lover or someone he had verbally abused. But they decided it was best to leave it a mystery.
The idea of Phil reading to Rita while she sleeps came from Bill Murray. His wife drank too much champagne on their wedding night and fell asleep early, so Murray read aloud to her until he too fell asleep.
In the penultimate encounter between Connors and annoying insurance salesman Ned Ryerson, Bill Murray was ad-libbing when he tells Ned, "I don't know where you're headed, but can you call in sick?" and causes Ned to run away.
The store Lloyds - always seen in the background in the scenes where Bill Murray encounters Stephen Tobolowsky - tried to sue the production for several thousand dollars for lost business, a rather spurious claim seeing as their suit exceeded the store's average earnings.
Rita's favorite drink is sweet vermouth. This was Harold Ramis's idea because it is his wife's favorite drink.
Premiere voted this movie as one of "The 50 Greatest Comedies Of All Time" in 2006.
Ranked #8 on the American Film Institute's list of the 10 greatest films in the genre "Fantasy" in June 2008.
Director Harold Ramis was surprised to find that his film was attracting a lot of attention from various religious groups, meditative gurus and other parties who were into metaphysics. Ramis was particularly surprised as he was expecting a backlash against him.
The scenes showcasing Bill Murray filming his weather predictions at the news station, along with the introduction of Andie MacDowell's character were not conceived until the editing process. They had to go back and shoot them to be edited in later.
The house that was used for the piano teacher's home is less than a block away from the house used for the bed and breakfast. Though not visible in the film, it is actually located on the street that Phil sees directly proceeding from his room window just a few houses down on the left-hand side.
In one scene, Connors throws himself from the bell tower of a high building. This building is actually an opera house in Woodstock, Illinois. Local legend has it that a ghost of a young girl haunts the building since a girl once fell off of the balcony section inside the opera house and died.
After its release, several writers emerged, claiming that the story was stolen from their idea. Science-fiction author Richard Lupoff claimed that it was a rip-off from his short story '12:01pm', whilst Ken Grimwood - author of 'Replay' - was another. However,Danny Rubin said his only jumping off point of inspiration for this film was the 1892 story "Christmas Every Day" by William Dean Howells.
Harold Ramis kept Bill Murray's overcoat.
Chicago radio legend Steve Dahl was asked by Harold Ramis to be the radio announcer at the beginning of every day but his radio partner didn't understand the movie and didn't want to do it.
The French poem Phil recites in the German restaurant is quoted from the 1957 Jacques Brel song "La bourrée du célibataire" or "Bachelor's Dance". "La fille que j'aimera / Sera comme bon vin / Qui se bonifiera / Un peu chaque matin." This has translated into English as: "The girl that I will marry / Will age without a fear / And like the wine grow mellower / With every passing year."
When Phil is explaining to Rita his experiences he first says "I have been stabbed, shot, poisoned, frozen" and so on. Those were all methods used by the assassins of Russian mystic Grigory Rasputin, but (with the exception of electrocution) were not seen done to Phil. This could also be a reference to Murray's film Ghostbusters II (1989), in which similar methods are named as the cause of Vigo the Carpathian's death.
The "clocks" restaurant in Woodstock, IL is now a Starbucks.
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 (1980).
A scene was shot in which Phil destroys his room, slashing pillows, spray-painting the walls, etc. He also shaves his head then the camera pulls back from his face to show that his hair and the room were back to normal the next morning. But Harold Ramis had trouble making the dissolving shot match so the scene was changed to Phil breaking a pencil instead.
In 2003, this movie was the opening night film in the Museum of Modern Art's "The Hidden God: Film and Faith" series. A December 7, 2003, New York Times article called "Groundhog Almighty" discussed both the seeming incongruity of Groundhog Day being curated alongside such "serious" films as Luis Buñuel's Nazarin (1959), Federico Fellini's (1963), Ingmar Bergman's Winter Light (1963), and Andrei Tarkovsky's Andrei Rublev (1966) and the opinions of different clergy-people and religious adherents (including rabbis, Jesuit priests, Buddhists, practitioners of Falun Dafa, and Wiccans) about how the movie is applicable to or actually about their respective religion.
The concept has since been borrowed in other films, including the Disney cartoon Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas (1999), the TV show Day Break (2006) and the Adam Sandler comedy, 50 First Dates (2004).
Tori Amos was considered for the role of Rita.
In the Jeopardy! (1984) sequence, the second player we see is Jim Scott, a five-time "Jeopardy!" Champion who won his fifth game on the October 1, 1990 broadcast. He went on to win the Tournament of Champions contest that season.
One of Roger Ebert's Great Movies.
Among Phil's books in the coffee shop are "Treasury of the Theatre: From Agamemnon to A Month in the Country" by John Gassner (Simon & Schuster, 1964), and "Johann Strauss: Father and Son, a Century of Light Music" by H.E. Jacob (Greystone Press, 1939). The classical piano piece that draws his attention in the same scene is Mozart's Piano Sonata No. 16 in C major, K. 545.
The end party scene where everyone thanks Phil was originally supposed to take place at Fred and Debbie's wedding but it was changed for time constraints.
Bill Murray, Chris Elliott, Brian Doyle-Murray, and Robin Duke are all former cast members of Saturday Night Live (1975). Doyle-Murray and Duke were in the same cast during the 1981-1982 season. Murray hosted an episode that season.
Early drafts of the script explained the cause of Phil Connors' weird experience: a disaffected ex-lover named Stephanie cast a spell on him to teach him a lesson.
The lines Andie MacDowell quotes in the café - "unwept, unhonoured, and unsung" - are from Sir Walter Scott's "Lay of the Last Minstrel", Canto vi, Stanza 1, which begins with the famous line, "Breathes there a man with soul so dead..."
The interior scenes of the Cherry Street bed and breakfast were not filmed inside the actual house. The only times the crew entered the house at all were to turn on lamps for the proper lighting effects needed for the exterior shots.
On February 2 1993 the sun did not rise until 7:25am in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania so the film is technically inaccurate - it would still have been dark at 6am.
At one point in the chase scene involving the red Cadillac Eldorado, Bill Murray and friends were to race along the sidewalk in front of the movie theater, barely missing the ticket booth, which was still occupied. The scene was filmed, but left on the cutting room floor.
Harold Ramis has stated that the inspiration for this movie was NOT the 1905 novel "The Strange Life of Ivan Osokin" by P.D. Ouspensky, but many others think that it was. Ramis made this denial within his contributions to a jacket blurb for one edition of the Ouspensky book. In the book, Osokin is given the opportunity to live his life over again by a magician... and Osokin takes him up on the offer, only to make the same mistakes all over again. Eventually he reaches the point in time where he met the magician, who explains to Osokin that he cannot change the recurring wheel that is "this trap called life"... and that Osokin must learn to sacrifice in order to escape it, to find his salvation.
Andie MacDowell was hired on the basis of her performance in Michael Lindsay-Hogg's film, The Object of Beauty (1991).
The end credits read "Filmed in Panavision", which is the requirement for films using anamorphic lenses, rather than "Filmed with Panavision Cameras and Lenses", for films that use spherical lenses.
The red Cadillac in the "no tomorrow" driving scene is a 1974 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible with a non-stock grille. It is a front-wheel drive car, as can clearly be seen in the burnout at the start of the train track sequence. The Eldorado was equipped with rear-wheel drive from 1953 to 1966, then front-wheel drive from 1967 through the end of production in 2003.
George Fenton's music brief was to come up with a Nino Rota type score.
The song on radio whenever Phil Connors' day restarts, "I Got You Babe" by Sonny & Cher, was the #1 single in the US for three weeks in August, 1965, as measured by Billboard Magazine.
Debbie and Fred's last names are given briefly as "Kleiser".

Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

In the final shot, Phil carries Rita over the gate and then climbs over it. This is because the gate was actually frozen shut.
They shot 25 takes of the closing scene when Bill Murray wakes up next to Andie MacDowell, as they were unsure of the tonality of the scene. They were not sure if Phil and Rita should still be in their clothes or not. Ramis had everyone on set, cast and crew, vote as to how it should be played, and the final tally came down on the side of the couple still being in their clothes as they had not had sex yet.
Rita slaps Phil ten times during the course of the film

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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