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Groundhog Day (1993) Poster

(1993)

Goofs

Audio/visual unsynchronised 

As Phil walks off the stage after performing the piano number, two background actors behind him are visibly 'fake clapping', but there is no clapping sound to accompany it. Whilst this is a technique used on set when recording dialogue, so the background actors' clapping does not get recorded by the actors' microphone, for some reason the sound editor missed this or decided not to dub it with 2 people clapping, giving this strange looking result.
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In the last part of the movie, Phil is seen playing the piano on stage at the party. As he finishes up song before going and talking to Rita, the piano in the soundtrack is playing a glissando (running a finger rapidly down the keyboard) while Phil is still playing as he was before. Finally, at the last run, Phil's hands match the sound.
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When Needle-nose Ned spots Phil and says his name: Phil??!! The "first" Feb. 2nd, Ned's voice hits a very high note, but the following Feb. 2nds his voice doesn't reach that high note. One point where the original soundtrack should have been used.
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Character error 

When Phil starts taking daily piano lessons, he obviously had never taken lessons before. However, after living the same day over and over, he becomes an expert. By the night of the big party, he's so good that he's part of the band. Yet at the party, his piano teacher mentions to Rita that "he's my student". Since he's now an expert, he would have no need to keep going back repeatedly for lessons and therefore she would not know who he was.
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When Phil is reading poetry to Rita back at his room, Rita dozes off. When she awakens, Phil says, "I think the last thing you heard was, 'Only God can make a tree'." This is a partial quote of the last line of Joyce Kilmer's famous poem "Trees". Unfortunately, either Rita must have been dreaming it, or Phil must have been quoting it from memory, as Kilmer's poem is not included in the book Phil is reading from, namely: "Poems for Every Mood", compiled and edited by Harriet Monroe in 1933.
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At the beginning of the movie when Phil is giving the weather report he claims that if he had a choice of where he could be, he would choose Elko NV, because that was the location of the nations high of 79. On February 01, the day before Groundhog's Day, Elko would be very cold. It would not be a place that would have the nations highest temperature in February. The highest temperature in Elko NV in the last 75 years was 21C (about 69F) and that was late February 1905.
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At the beginning of the scene where Phil and Rita talk in the Bavarian restaurant, a waitress crosses carrying 4 large steins of beer. She sets them on the table behind Phil and Rita. Watch as she walks away from the table. She touches the shoulder of the older gentleman seated at that table and leaves foam on the top of his jacket sleeve.
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Phil says, "Well maybe the *real* God uses tricks, you know? Maybe he's not omnipotent. He's just been around so long he knows everything." Knowing everything is not omnipotence, it's omniscience. Bill Murray might have read the line wrong. Alternatively, Phil might simply have used the wrong word - he is an arrogant know-all, who might not be as clever as he thinks, or the mistake might just be reflecting the great stress he would be under having realized his predicament.
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About fifteen minutes from the beginning of the movie, right after it's announced the very first time that there will be 6 more weeks of winter, one of the Groundhog Day officials in a tuxedo & top hat on the right hand side of the stage is shown holding a giant "BLIZZARD" sign upside down until someone in the crowd points it out and he turns it right-side up.
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Continuity 

On the first day Phil wakes in the hotel he looks out of the window and sees certain cars moving and turning. The next day he looks out of the window again and sees exactly the same cars etc as though it is exactly the same time, but the time is different which we know because the radio show that we can hear is at a different point.
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During the close-up shots of the clock, the tiny scratches on the number plates change from day to day, indicating different clocks are used.
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Since every day takes place on the same day there should be the same amount of snow every night. However, there are clearly some nights where there is a lot of snow and others where there is no snow at all.
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As Phil is walking toward the town plaza and he rounds the corner and passes by the old beggar, a number of shops can be seen over his shoulder to the right of the screen. This scene is repeated many times in the movie, and sometimes there are flags flying over the shops, while other times there are none.
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During the police chase when Phil is being chased down the railroad tracks, the police car has a rotating light bar. In close up shots the police lights flashing behind the vehicle are clearly strobe lights.
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On February 3rd, when Phil and Rita are leaving the place Phil has been staying, the shots of the gate in the fence show the gate closed in the shots from near the building, but show the gate open in the shots from the street.
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When the police are chasing Phil in the Cadillac convertible, he wrecks into a row of cars, the first one being a 1983 AMC Eagle wagon. In the next scene, the Cadillac is crashed against a small Chevy, and the Eagle is on the other side of the Chevy.
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At the beginning of the movie, while the white van is going from Pittsburgh to Punxsutawney, the WPBH signs stuck on the van's sides move from near the back of the van to near the front (see the 4 semicircular holes above each sign).
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During the police chase scene on the railroad tracks, there is a shot where the train's headlights illuminates the tracks in front of the Phil's car. In that shot we can see that there is no break in the tracks. In the next shot they veer off the tracks, via a road without any rail crossings, and escape.
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As Phil is about to drive the truck over the edge, Larry is filming and Rita is watching, and her hair is protruding in many places. In the next shot, her hair is neatly pinned in place.
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When the three ladies with the flat tire are rolling to a stop, the pavement and tire are wet. In the wide shot and while changing the tire, the pavement is dry.
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In the scene at the quarry the police car's overhead warning lights alternate between being on or off depending on the shot.
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When Phil takes his "joyride" with Gus and Ralph, there isn't any snow, but the blizzard would already have hit the town by then.
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When Phil is learning piano, you see his cuffs while playing, and there are stripes on them, but he is wearing a solid colored shirt.
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When Phil is playing with Rita in the snow, they make a big snowman and some kids start throwing snowballs.. In the next scenes, the snowman is seen made of 3 big snowballs, and then 2 snowballs.
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In the kidnapping scene the sky turns for blue (no clouds) to overcast to partly cloudy over and over again.
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When Phil is ready to leave the B&B on the first repeat day his scarf is outside of his unbuttoned jacket. Yet once he turns around and exits through the front door his jacket is buttoned and the scarf is tucked inside.
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The first two times Phil flees Ned Ryerson, the pothole that Phil steps in is knee deep. The third time Phil flees, the pothole is ankle deep.
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When Phil is walking toward the town plaza for the first time, a number of banners can be seen hanging aloft. The next time he passes the same place, banners disappear and reappear some iterations later.
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Crew or equipment visible 

As Larry films the flaming wreckage of Phil's truck in the quarry, the lights used to create the glow of the fire can be seen reflected in the lens of Larry's camera.
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Factual errors 

Sunrise in early February in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, is not until around 7:25 am, so at 6 am it would still be fully dark.
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In the Bavarian restaurant, a poster appears on the wall reads "Alles Gute Zum Erdhörnchentag". This is supposed to mean "Happy Groundhog Day", but is, however, a mistranslation because "Erdhörnchen" means "Gopher". The poster should have read "Alles Gute Zum Murmeltiertag".
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In the first scene where the bed & breakfast is shown, it is 5:59 a.m., and it's already light outside. In Punxsutawney, PA the nautical twilight is at 5:51 a.m. on 2 February and in Woodstock, IL where the movie is filmed, the nautical twilight is not until 6:02 a.m. It is not possible that it would be as bright outside as depicted in the film.
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When Phil wakes up at 06:00 each morning, it's already full sunlight outside his window. In real life, the sun doesn't rise in Punxsutawney until just after 08:00 on Feb. 2 each year.
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In the groundhog weather predicting scene, one of the officials holds up a sign that reads "Punxsutawney Penn. Weather Capitol of the World." The correct spelling in that context would be "capital."
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Phil apparently removes the distributor cap and leads from the engine in a Dodge van. The engines used in this vehicle have the distributor located at the rear of the engine. It is only accessible by removing the interior engine cover, not from under the hood.
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The waitress asks the armored car workers for a roll of quarters; armored car workers absolutely cannot make change for anyone. In reality, the waitress would have needed to go into the bank and get change from a bank teller.
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The truck used by the crew is known in the broadcast business as an ENG truck to transmit from Punxatawny to Pittsburgh, would require the crew to raise a 30 foot solid metal mast, which are infamous for freezing in freezing rain and subzero temperatures meaning the truck would not be able to be driven if the mast was was up most ENG trucks have safety features to keep the truck from moving unless the mast and microwave transmitter are stowed in the home position.
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In the very first scene on the stairs, Phil predicts that spring will begin on March 21st, but the actual date of the vernal equinox was March 20th (for Eastern Standard Time, in which the movie was set). The last year in which the equinox fell on March 21st was 1979 (14 years before the movie was released), this will not occur again until March 21st, 2103.
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Pittsburgh doesn't have a 5pm and 10pm evening news broadcast (it's in EST, so 6pm and 11 pm), but Woodstock, IL and many of the cast are used to CST.
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If it is below freezing as suggested by the weather map in the TV studio, and Phil mentions in the B&B, then there should not be a puddle of water in a pothole, it should have been frozen over.
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Although the band near the end is a jazz band, Phil's piano work in clearly Rock & Roll.
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Miscellaneous 

When Phil wakes up with Rita on Feb 3, his clock flips to 6:00, then there's 2 minutes and about 15 seconds of movie time until the clock is shown again. Yet, at that point, the clock reads 6:01.
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When Phil is being chased in the truck with the groundhog, they pass under a low bridge which is too low for the TV truck to pass under, however the TV truck is still in the chase in the next scene.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

We never see Phil try to leave first thing in the morning before the highway gets blocked, but that doesn't mean he didn't try, fail, and give up. There could be many things he tried that we don't see before he finally decided to settle down.
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Phil, Rita, and Larry arrive in Punxsutawney, and, as they get out of the van, Phil announces he's not willing to stay in the hotel and Rita tells* him he's got a reservation at a Bed & Breakfast across town. Phil is thrilled and climbs back to the van, in the passenger's seat, but there is no driver, because the driver is Larry and he is staying at the hotel. *Rita says: "Larry's just dropping me off. I got you a reservation at a nice Bed & Breakfast."
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Plot holes 

On the third morning, Phil rushes out of the hotel without interacting with the chubby guest and the female hotel proprietor, which should put him ahead of schedule. However, as he exits the hotel, the piano teacher has already crossed the street, and his encounters in town (e.g., Ned) occur on schedule.
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When Phil plays piano with the jazz band, his piano teacher is glowing. She says that she is his piano teacher and that she is so proud of him. Unless he had a piano lesson that same day, she'd have no memory of teaching him. If he did take a lesson that day, she would have encountered an accomplished piano player and she would not have been taking any credit for teaching him.
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Phil's morning routine varies from Groundhog Day to Groundhog Day, e.g. the amount of time he spends in the breakfast room or talking to other guests or the proprietor, but he meets Ned at exactly the same point of time and location every time.
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Phil has the same chance encounter with Ned each morning. That would require Phil to set off at the same moment and same pace each morning. Even a few seconds difference would probably lead to a different chain of events.
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Revealing mistakes 

When Phil is driving his car down the quarry ravine in a suicidal attempt, there is clearly no driver visible.
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While on his death binge, the pickup truck Bill and Phil uses to drive over the cliff clearly has no engine or drive-train components. The underneath shot is even depicted in slow-motion, and one can see clear through to the radiator.
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Phil's room in the Cherry Street bed and breakfast is on the top floor overlooking the street. The sizes and number of windows inside his room do not match any combination of those from the exterior shots, which is due to the fact that the interior shots were not filmed on location.
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Although the movie is ostensibly set in Punxsutawney, when Phil meets Ned for the first and subsequent times there is a store in the background quite clearly named 'Woodstock Jewellers', obviously named for the town where the movie was actually filmed.
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During the police chase with Phil's drinking buddies, no back-up lights are visible on the car tail lights while Phil is backing up the car to elude the police.
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In the beginning of the bowling alley scene there is a shot looking down the lanes toward the pins. Above lane 7 there is a sign that clearly says in big red letters, "Now Forming, Fall Leagues." The movie takes place on February 2, more than likely during the winter or spring leagues.
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Spoilers

The goof items below may give away important plot points.

Character error 

In the diner, when he's proving that he knows about everyone, Phil introduces Rita to "Debby Keisler and her fiancé Fred." At the Groundhog Dance near the end of the film Phil introduces the pair, now married, as "Debby and Fred Keisler." Either they already had the same last name, Fred took Debby's last name, or somebody screwed up.
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Continuity 

When Phil and Rita wake up on February 3rd and start kissing, they tilt their heads to the right. In the next shot and for the rest of the scene, their heads are tilted to the left.
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Factual errors 

Phil couldn't have electrocuted himself in the tub. By 1993, the GFCI outlet code requirements would've prevented it.
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When Phil gives Debbie and Fred the Wrestlemania tickets as a wedding gift, Debbie reacts by saying "How did you know? We're going to be in Pittsburgh anyway!" Wrestlemania has never taken place in Pittsburgh.
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See also

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

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