Groundhog Day is a 1993 American comedy film directed by Harold Ramis, starring Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell and Chris Elliott. It was written by Ramis and Danny Rubin, based on a story by Rubin.
Murray plays Phil Connors, an arrogant and egocentric Pittsburgh TV weatherman who, during a hated assignment covering the annual Groundhog Day event in Punxsutawney, finds himself in a time loop, repeating the same day again and again. After indulging in hedonism and numerous suicide attempts, he begins to re-examine his life and priorities.
In 2006, the film was added to the United States National Film Registry as being deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”
Self-centered TV meteorologist Phil Connors (Murray), news producer Rita (MacDowell), and cameraman Larry (Elliott), of Pittsburgh television station WPBH-TV9, travel to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania on February 1. Their assignment is to cover the annual Groundhog Day festivities on February 2. Phil, who doesn’t like the assignment or the town, grudgingly gives his report on the festivities. He then gets his team on the road back to Pittsburgh, but a blizzard shuts down all travel. The team is forced to return to town and stay another night.
Phil wakes up to find that he is reliving February 2. The day plays out exactly as it did before, with no one but Phil aware of the time loop. At first he is confused, but, when the phenomenon continues on subsequent days, he decides to take advantage of the situation with no fear of long-term consequences: he learns secrets from the town’s residents, seduces women, steals money, drives recklessly, and gets thrown in jail. However, his attempts to get closer to Rita, to whom he has become attracted, repeatedly fail.
Eventually, Phil becomes despondent and tries more and more drastically to end the time loop; he gives ridiculous and offensive reports on the festival, abuses residents, eventually kidnaps Punxsutawney Phil and, after a police chase, drives off a high overlook into a quarry, evidently killing both himself and the groundhog. However, Phil wakes up and finds that nothing has changed; further attempts at suicide are just as fruitless, as he continues to find himself waking at six o’clock on the morning of February 2 with the clock radio on his nightstand playing “I Got You Babe” by Sonny & Cher.
When Phil explains the situation to Rita, she suggests that he should take advantage of it to improve himself. Inspired, Phil endeavours to try to learn more about Rita, building upon his knowledge of her and the town each day. He begins to use his by-now vast experience of the day to help as many people around town as possible. He uses the time to learn, among other things, how to play the piano, how to sculpt ice, and how to speak both Italian and French.
Eventually, Phil is able to befriend almost everyone he meets during the day, using his experiences to save lives, help townspeople, and to get closer to Rita. He crafts a report on the Groundhog Day celebration so eloquent that all the other stations turn their microphones to him. After the town’s evening dance on February 2, Rita “buys” Phil at the event’s bachelor auction. They retire together to Phil’s room. He wakes the next morning and finds the time loop is broken; it is now February 3 and Rita is still with him. After going outside, Phil talks about living in Punxsutawney with Rita.
Bill Murray as Phil Connors
Andie MacDowell as Rita
Chris Elliott as Larry
Stephen Tobolowsky as Ned Ryerson
Brian Doyle-Murray as Buster Green
Angela Paton as Mrs. Lanchester
Rick Ducommun as Gus
Rick Overton as Ralph
Robin Duke as Doris, the waitress
Marita Geraghty as Nancy Taylor
Harold Ramis as Neurologist
Willie Garson as Phil’s Asst. Kenny
Ken Hudson Campbell as man in hallway
Richard Henzel as D.J. #1
Rob Riley as D.J. #2
David Pasquesi as Psychiatrist
Hynden Walch as Debbie
Michael Shannon as Fred
Eric Saiet as Buster’s son