Groundhog Day (1993)
Do you ever have the feeling you’ve seen this movie before? In this case, that’s entirely appropriate, as Harold Ramis’s hilarious time-loop tale—often credited with introducing fantasy elements into popular comedy—is all about a man who, day after day after day, keeps trying to get his perfect Hollywood ending.
Bill Murray stars as cynical TV weatherman Phil Connors. He unwillingly travels to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to report on the February 2nd festivities, which he does in a perfunctory manner while privately making fun of the locals. He can’t wait to leave, but a snowstorm traps him there for another night. When he wakes up on what should be the next day, however, he discovers he has to relive Groundhog Day again…and again…and again… As the reality of his unreal situation sinks in, he tries to deal in various ways: by indulging his basest impulses, through acts of self-improvement, and eventually through winning the heart of his new producer (Andie MacDowell).
While reading Anne Rice’s novel The Vampire Lestat, writer Danny Rubin got to thinking about immortality and how one would deal with it. That led to the original script for Groundhog Day, which was much more serious than the film that ultimately resulted. In his vision, Phil was a more dramatic role to be played by someone like Kevin Kline, with his spending thousands of years stuck in a loop. The only director interested in the film, however, was Harold Ramis, a Second City alumnus who pushed it in a lighter direction. Also a credited co-writer, Ramis shortened the time frame and suggested casting his friend Bill Murray, whom he had worked with on such hits as Caddyshack (1980) and Ghostbusters (1984). The film’s success opened the door for Murray to be cast in more serious roles in films like Rushmore (1998) and Lost in Translation (2003).
d. Harold Ramis, 101 minutes, DCP
This 4K restoration was created from the original negative and approved by cinematographer John Bailey. The restored audio is 5.1.
Courtesy of Sony Pictures