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Watch Out For 'Groundhog Day,' It's a Doozy

February 2, 2018

Let’s talk about everybody’s favorite part of Groundhog Day: Groundhog Day, the 1993 Bill Murray movie that takes place on Groundhog Day…a lot of them.
Groundhog Day
Filmmakers originally wanted Tom Hanks for the lead role of Phil, the Pennsylvania weatherman stuck in a time loop until he becomes a decent person. Director Harold Ramis ultimately rejected that notion, finding Hanks to be too “nice,” and lacking the sarcastic edge that only Bill Murray (his Ghostbusters co-star) could bring.
In the original script by Danny Rubin, It’s revealed that Phil lives out Groundhog Day over and over again for about 10,000 years. Eagle-eyed fans have carefully gone through the movie and reckon that in the final cut of the film, Phil is stuck doing February 2 for anywhere from eight years to 40 years.
In the movie, human Phil has a rocky relationship with actual groundhog Punxsutawney Phil. Off-screen, they didn’t get along at all: During filming, the groundhog bit Bill Murray. Twice.
The scene where Phil reads to Rita (Andi MacDowell) while she’s sleeping wasn’t in the script—it was suggested by Bill Murray. He’d done this with his former wife on their wedding night, after she’d had too much champagne and fell asleep early.
In Sweden, the movie was released as Monday the Entire Week.
Three people associated with the movie have been named honorary Grand Marshal for the real-life Groundhog Day festivities in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, the official “home” of Groundhog Day: Ramis, Murray, and Stephen Tobolowsky, the writer and actor who plays annoying insurance salesmen Ned Ryerson.
Groundhog Day wasn’t filmed in Pennsylvania at all, but rather Woodstock, Illinois, near where Ramis and Murray grew up. There’s a plaque in the town commemorating shooting, right at the spot where Phil stepped in a puddle over and over again while trying to get away from Ned Ryerson.
This makes no sense: The film was released to theaters in 1993…on February 12, 10 days after Groundhog Day.

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