How the film "Groundhog Day" was filmed: footage from the filming and 22 interesting facts about the film (19 photos)

12 December 2023

A classic of its genre, the comedy starring Bill Murray is today considered one of the best films of the 1990s. I bring to your attention a few interesting things about this film, I hope you don’t feel like you’ve already read it.

1. The film takes place in the Pennsylvania town of Punxsutawney, but the film was filmed in Woodstock. For reference, the distance between these cities is approximately 950 kilometers. But this did not stop the town of Punxsutawney from becoming a tourist center after the success of the film.

By the way, the residents of Woodstock really didn’t like this, because no one came to their city to visit the filming locations, including shops and establishments. It didn't help that the authorities hung signs around the city reminding of the filming of the film. Take, for example, the sign that was placed in the place where Phil fell with his foot into a deep puddle.

And Lloyd's hardware store, which appears in the film, actually sued the studio due to the fact that its business did not improve after the success of the film. By the way, the claim was rejected.

2. In the scene where Phil Connors became so desperate that he simply began to gorge himself on everything he could, the actor was given a bucket to throw food into after the command “Stop! Cut!” But Bill Murray decided that this couldn’t be done, so he selflessly ate everything that was required of him. As a result, he became so ill that he had to seek help from doctors.

3. Director Harold Ramis specifically decided to make a film that would deal with the then little-known holiday “Groundhog Day”, since in his opinion it was funny and had nothing to do with religion or politics. And no one had made films on this topic before him.

4. Despite the fact that the film takes place on February 2, the main shooting of the film took place in the spring. And if at the beginning the actors were cold, then underneath it was already hot. Not only was it hot for the actors to walk around in warm weather in winter clothes, but there was also the problem of snow, which is not available at this time of year. Therefore, we had to resort to artificial snow.

5. The scene where Rita falls asleep next to Phil while he reads a book to her was invented by Bill Murray himself, and he asked Ramis to include it in the film.

The fact is that at that time Bill Murray had just divorced his wife, which is why he was very depressed. And this scene was a reference to his first night with his wife after the wedding, when she had too much champagne and fell asleep in bed, hugging her new husband, while Bill read a book to her.

6. The song “I Got you babe”, to which Phil wakes up every day, was chosen at the stage of writing the script. The whole point is that there is a moment in the song that feels like it's ending, but then it starts again.

7. The groundhog that Phil Connors kidnaps bites Bill Murray three times during filming. Moreover, the third time the groundhog bit the actor so badly that he had to call a doctor and give him an injection for rabies.

8. By the way, director Harold Ramis himself played a small role in the film. Specifically, you could see the role of the neurologist who tells Phil that there is nothing wrong with him.

9. Actors such as Steve Martin and John Travolta were considered for the main role of Phil Connors. But director Harold Ramis thought they were too cute for the role. But Bill Murray fit perfectly into this role, especially since he and Ramis had already worked together in the film “Ghostbusters.” Moreover, Harold Ramis played Egon in the film, while Bill Murray played Peter.

Although, Bill Murray was not the main contender for this role. It was originally offered to Tom Hanks, but he turned it down, saying that audiences remember him as a good guy, so they wouldn't be able to enjoy his transformation from a grumpy weatherman to a good guy.

I have a separate article on my channel about how the film was filmedm "Ghostbusters" (1984). I recommend you read it.

10. According to the plot, sweet vermouth is Rita’s favorite drink. In fact, this drink was not chosen by chance. Sweet vermouth is the favorite drink of director Harold Ramis' wife.

11. Bill Murray was a very wayward person. He interrupted the director, left as soon as the working day ended (even if the scene was not completed), but at the same time he could be late for filming. Harold Ramis recommended that he hire a personal assistant to help him manage his schedule. And Bill did it, but he hired a deaf-mute assistant, without knowing sign language.

Director Harold Ramis at work

This greatly irritated his friend and director Harold Ramis. But the “cherry on the cake” was the constant night calls from Murray to Ramis in order to make some changes and everything like that. As a result, after the end of filming, the friends finally quarreled and since then they have not reconciled. Well, in 2014, Harold Ramis himself passed away.

However, on the first day of filming, Bill Murray bought all the baked goods from a local bakery and distributed them to people who came to watch the filming process.

12. After the success of the film, the creators began to think about filming the second part. As planned, the film was supposed to be a direct continuation of the original and even begin from the same moment, namely the third of February. But only in this race would Rita, played by Andie MacDowell, be caught in a time loop. But in the end, things didn’t go further than the idea.

13. Initially, the creators thought about whether the main characters should have sex or not. But after a many-hour meeting, it was decided to leave the heroes in their clothes, hinting that they simply fell asleep.

14. If you count all the days shown in the film, it turns out that Phil Connors spent in the time loop, according to various calculations, from 34 to 42 days. But in fact, he could live one day for 10 years. Still, it’s worth considering that he professionally learned to play the piano and carve figures from ice.

As Harold Ramis himself admitted, according to the original plan, Phil Connors was supposed to spend 10 thousand years in such a loop.

Harold Ramis

15. With a budget of $14.6 million, the film "Groundhog Day" grossed $70.9 million worldwide, making it a box office success.

16. Remember how Phil breaks a pencil before going to bed and finds it intact the next day? This scene was originally supposed to be on a larger scale. Specifically, Phil had to trash the entire room and even shave himself bald, after which the scene smoothly transitioned to a normal state, where the room was cleaned and Phil had hair again.

17. The Panasonic RC-6025 clock radio, which woke Phil up at 6.00 every day, did not want to break, no matter how Phil tried to break it. As a result, to give the watch a broken-down look, it had to be hit with a hammer.

18. In 2014, the fantasy action film “Edge of Tomorrow” was released with Tom Cruise in the title role. The filmmakers did not hide the fact that during filming they were inspired by such films as “Groundhog Day” and “Starship Troopers.”

As a reference to the film “Groundhog Day”, not only the idea of ​​living the same day was taken, but also the name of the main character. In both films the women are named Rita.

Andie MacDowell and Harold Ramis

19. The Tip Top cafe, where the main character always ate, is a decoration. In reality, such an institution did not exist. But after filming ended, they did not dismantle the set, but turned it into a real Tip Top cafe to attract tourists. True, now this cafe is no longer there. In its place, a very ordinary Starbucks was built.

20. The annoying insurance agent Ned, who meets Phil, was played by actor Stephen Tobolowsky. Harrold Ramis only cast him in the role because he thought he actually seemed the most annoying during his audition.

21. Remember the city official who held the Groundhog Day celebration? In fact, this is Bill Murray's brother - Brian Doyle Murray.

Brian Doyle Murray as City Clerk

22. On February 2, 2020, a commercial for a Jeep car appeared on the Internet. According to the plot of the video, old Phil Connors wakes up again every day at 6 am and steals the groundhog. Besides him, the video stars his brother Brian Doyle Murray in the role of the same official, as well as Stephen Tobolowsky in the role of the annoying Ned.

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