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Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day title card

Year - 1993
Studio - Columbia Pictures
Stars - Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott, Stephen Tobolowsky, Brian Doyle-Murray
Director - Harold Ramis
Writing Credits - Danny Rubin, Harold Ramis (screenplay), Danny Rubin (story)
Music - George Fenton

Synopsis

Phil Connors (Bill Murray) is sarcastic weather reporter at a Pittsburgh TV station, who finds the job beneath his talents. He is assigned, for the fourth year in a row, to cover the annual Groundhog Day ceremony in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, with his producer, Rita (Andie MacDowell) and cameraman, Larry (Chris Elliott).

After a night's sleep at a Punxsutawney bed and breakfast, his radio alarm goes off at 6am, with Sonny and Cher's "I Got You Babe" and wisecracking DJ's bantering about a blizzard coming in.

Phil walks to the town square, joining Rita and Larry, and covers the event, with town officials removing the groundhog from his cage and announcing that he has seen his shadow - six more weeks of winter.

Groundhog Day poster

Immediately after, the three leave in the station van for their return trip to Pittsburgh, but have to turn around and go back to Punxsutawney when the road is closed because of a major blizzard.

The next morning, Phil awakes at the same time, with the same tune and DJ talk on his radio. He thinks that the station has inadvertently played yesterday's tape, but soon discovers he he is reliving Groundhog Day over again. His B&B host says the exact same words to him as before, he runs into the same obnoxious insurance salesman again, Ned Ryerson (Stephen Tobolowsky) and is greeted identically by Rita and Larry at the town square.

Phil continues to relive the day, over and over. He learns to take the knowledge he gains, and uses it to his advantage on succeeding days, such as obtaining information from a lovely local, Nancy Taylor (Marita Geraghty) to convince her that they were high school classmates, as a seduction technique.

But it is Rita that he discovers he is most attracted to, and he attempts to build up a storehouse of facts about her life, to get her to like him -e.g., she likes French poetry, so he memorizes one to recite to her the following day repeated.

He realizes that, whatever he does, there are no consequences, because tomorrow just starts the same thing over again. He goes on a wild joy ride and gets himself put in jail. He eats large quantities of pastries and fatty foods.

Phil eventually becomes depressed over the perpetual monotony, and commits suicide — by different means, over and over.

Ultimately, he finds that it is not what he does for himself, but what he does for others, that is the key to his happiness. With his prior knowledge of the day's events - an old man's death, a boy falling from a tree, three elderly women having a flat tire - he prevents problems or helps make others' lives better. He becomes kind and thoughtful in his relations with everyone, especially Rita and Larry.

Rita falls in love with the new, authentic Phil Connors and is the winning bidder at a bachelor auction fundraising event. When they wake up in bed together the following morning, it is a new day - the day after Groundhog Day.

Show Spoilers

Groundhog Day was remade in Italy as Stork Day in 2004.