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Comedy - Family

Groundhog Day (1993)

Duration1h 41m
RatingsUK: PG, USA: PG, Germany: 6, 
Source of storyAn original screenplay, apparently inspired by an Anne Rice vampire book.
DirectorHarold Ramis
Writers/ScriptDanny Rubin, Harold Ramis
StarringBill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliot, Stephen Tobolowsky, Marita Geraghty, Harold Ramis, Michael Shannon, 
RatingsIMDb: 8.0 by 570,624 people. Rotten Tomatoes: 96% by 83 reviewers.

Elevator Pitch: It is February 2nd in Punxsultawney, Pennsylvania, Groundhog Day, and TV weatherman Phil Connor is broadcasting the appearance of the ground hog and the resulting weather prediction for the fourth time. His tone is similar to that employed by Terry Wogan at Eurovision. After the event the team, Phil, Rita, the producer, and Larry the cameraman are stuck in a blizzard and forced to return to the town. The following morning Phil wakes up and it is February 2nd again, and again and again. He is destructive and then depressed, And it is only when he starts to use his knowledge for good, that things start to change.

Content:  Phil attempts various seductions, some apparently successful but no actual sex or nudity. Many moments of him waking up at 0600. The broadcast at Gobbler’s Knob takes place a number of times. Phil does some outrageous things resulting in him being jailed, and he also commits suicide. An increasing number of visits to the local café take place where he gradually gets to know everybody. He has time to learn French, piano playing and ice sculpture. It has been suggested that these skills would take ten years of February 2nds to learn.

A View: I had first seen this film when it came out on general release and enjoyed it, but had not realised how great it was. Apart from the fact that we never find out why Phil is stuck at February 2nd everything that happens is, in its own way, logical. I have felt that it was to give him the opportunity of becoming a better person. The script is clever enough to make the repetitions fun, rather than boring, and it is laugh out loud funny. I loved the piano playing. It has been selected for the American National Film Registry and here in Spain can be downloaded for a couple of euros. It is a MUST SEE on this site.

Additional Info: Bill Murray always thought that the film should have concentrated on the philosophical aspect of the plot, while Harold Ramis went for the comedy. They did not speak again until shortly before Ramis died in 2014. 

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels

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