Groundhog Day (1993)
“Wake up wood chuck chuckers it’s, Groundhog Day!”
If you didn’t know, it’s February 2nd today, the date of the famous Groundhog Ceremony held in the west Pennsylvanian town of Punxsutawney in the US.
If you’re somehow totally unaware of this and haven’t seen the brilliant film starring Bill Burray, here’s some info courtesy of Wikipedia.
“Groundhog Day is a popular North American tradition observed in the United States and Canada on February 2nd. It derives from the Pennsylvania Dutch superstition that if a groundhog emerging from its burrow on this day sees its shadow due to clear weather, it will retreat to its den and winter will persist for six more weeks; but if it does not see its shadow because of cloudiness, spring will arrive early.
While the tradition remains popular in modern times, studies have found no consistent correlation between a groundhog seeing its shadow and the subsequent arrival time of spring-like weather.”
Groundhog Day (1993) is one of my favourite movies of all time.
It’s funny, meaningful, heartwarming and strangely profound for a comedy.
It was co-written and directed by the late Harold Ramis (Egon from Ghostbusters) and stars Bill Murray as a bitter and cynical TV weatherman, who after travelling to Punxsutawney to report on the groundhog festival for the fourth year running is inexplicably forced to re-live the same day over and over again.
The movie also stars Andie MacDowell (Four Weddings and a Funeral), Chris Elliott (Scary Movie 2) and Stephen Tobolowski (Single White Female) as the hilarious Ned Ryerson.
This is one of those films I’ve seen more than most other films. I just love it and watched it (ironically) on repeat when I was in my teens.
Here’s a bit of trivia for you:
Both Tom Hanks and Michael Keaton turned down the lead role of Phil Connors. Tom Hanks was busy and Michael Keaton just didn’t really get the script so passed on it. He’s since said that he regrets his decision.
The movie wasn’t actually filmed in Punxsutawney but in Woodstock, Illinois. According to Harold Ramis the town square didn’t look good enough on camera and there wasn’t enough sufficient accommodation for all of the cast and crew, so they decided to shoot in Illinois instead.
Apparently Punxsutawney weren’t happy about this so banned the actual Grounghog (Punxsutawney Phil) from appearing in the film.
Similar to It’s a Wonderful Life (1946), some of the movie was shot during high temperatures despite being set in a town experiencing a heavy snow fall. Fake snow had to be brought it for some scenes and the actors were boiling hot in their big winter coats. 🔥
According to Bill Murray, the groundhog (actually named Scooter) hated him from day one and bit him several times during filming. 😆
Although we never get to find out just how long Phil Connors has been re-living the same day, Harold Ramis once said it was probably around 30-40 years. In the original script however, Bill Murray’s character was in a time loop for 10,000 years and would mark the time by reading one page in one of the B&B’s library books each day.
If you haven’t seen Groundhog Day, you’re missing an absolute cinematic, comedy treat! Do yourself a favour and give it a watch. 👍
“What about the satellites? Is it snowing in space?”