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Once again, for the fifth year in a row, TV weatherman Phil Connors (Bill Murray) is forced to cover the Groundhog Day ceremonies in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, an assignment he truly despises. But this year something truly bizarre happens after he finishes the report: When he wakes up the next morning, ready to leave, he discovers it's February 2 all over again. He tries to tell his producer, Rita (Andie MacDowell), what's happening, but neither she nor anyone else understands; only he remembers that they've already lived ... (Full plot summary below)
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Full Plot Details
Once again, for the fifth year in a row, TV weatherman Phil Connors (Bill Murray) is forced to cover the Groundhog Day ceremonies in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, an assignment he truly despises. But this year something truly bizarre happens after he finishes the report: When he wakes up the next morning, ready to leave, he discovers it's February 2 all over again. He tries to tell his producer, Rita (Andie MacDowell), what's happening, but neither she nor anyone else understands; only he remembers that they've already lived through Groundhog Day. When the same thing happens the next morning, he thinks he's going insane and wreaks havoc all through the town. More and more mornings pass, all of them February 2, and all of them with an ever angrier Phil. Desperate to escape, he even tries suicide, but still another February 2 dawns. As he starts realizing that his exploits are not making time march on any quicker, Phil begins to change his behavior, performing a series of lifesaving tasks until he becomes a model citizen, hoping it will be enough to get him out of Punxsutawney forever. Along the way he learns more about the people around him--and himself--than he ever thought possible. The film is extremely well put together by director Harold Ramis, and the script by Danny Rubin and Ramis is sharp and clever. The actors--many of whom have to perform essentially the same scene over and over again, with only subtle differences--is a riot.
A TV weatherman becomes caught in a personal time trap when a certain day keeps repeating itself over and over again. Includes a 16-page film companion.
Reviews & Comments
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|The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Rick Groen Dial your expectations to moderate, burrow in for the duration, and you won't be disappointed - it ain't exactly springtime, but there are worse things than an amiable outing on a winter's night.|
|Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman The funniest moments in Groundhog Day come when Phil takes sneaky advantage of his predicament-by, say, pumping a sexy woman in the local coffee shop for facts about her past and then, ''the next day,'' using the information to lure her into bed. What the movie lacks is the ingenious, lapidary comic structure that could have made these moments fuse into something tricky and wild.|
|Austin Chronicle Louis Black There were a lot of ways for this film to go stupid; it succumbs to none of them.|
|ReelViews James Berardinelli This movie has all the qualities necessary to be a crowd-pleaser: likable characters, charismatic performers, a strong, capably-executed premise, and lots of laughs.|
|Washington Post Hal Hinson For once, the audience isn't forced to surrender its intelligence (or its healthy cynicism) to embrace the film's sunny resolution.|
|The New York Times Elvis Mitchell That glimmer of recognition is what makes Groundhog Day a particularly witty and resonant comedy, even when its jokes are more apt to prompt gentle giggles than rolling in the aisles.|
|The A.V. Club Scott Tobias A hilarious and unexpectedly profound comedy.|
|Time Richard Corliss [Murray] has the natural actor's charm of making manners matter. He carries Groundhog Day with his uniquely frittery nonchalance and makes the movie a comic time warp anyone should be happy to get stuck in. [15 Feb 1993, p.63]|
- The scene where Bill Murray's character smashes the alarm clock didn't go as planned. Murray slammed it on the floor but it didn't break so the crew had to take a hammer to it to give it the cracked look.
- Director Harold Ramis originally wanted Tom Hanks for the lead role but decided against it saying that Hanks was too nice for the part.
- Bill Murray was bitten by the groundhog twice during filming.
- Director Harold Ramis also has a cameo in this film as a doctor. Ramis and Bill Murray starred together in Ghostbusters.
- The idea for this film came from a book by Friedrich Nietzsche called The Gay Science. In it Nietzsche gives a description of a man who is living the same day over and over again.
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Groundhog Day Awards
Academy Award Nominations: 1
- 1994: Best Screenplay, Original - Danny Rubin, Harold Ramis
BAFTA Award Wins: 1
- 1994: Best Screenplay, Original - Harold Ramis, Danny Rubin
BAFTA Award Nominations: 1
- 1994: Best Screenplay, Original - Harold Ramis, Danny Rubin