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Old 12-02-2001, 07:42 PM
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Just saw the Bill Murray flick again, and wondered how many times Bill had to relive the same day in order to learn all he had to learn about the PA town Punk-something? Every detail of those people's lives, keyboard playing, ice sculpture, grand larceny... the list goes on.

It would seem to me that ten or twenty years worth of subjective time for Bill would not be an unreasonable for all that. If it were me, once I tumbled across ripping off the armored car for a big bag of cash, I could spend five years just figuring cool ways to blow the money for the rest of the day.
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Old 12-02-2001, 07:55 PM
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Me too, although tragically I suspect the writers would probably give him three or four years, tops.

Mind you... who's to say he didn't just end up as a nice guy because he'd exhausted all the other options?



Did it ever occur to you that if it had been a Twilight Zone episode he'd just have gone insane?

And was the whole world repeating the same day till he got his act together, or what?
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Old 12-02-2001, 08:06 PM
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Honestly? Thousands of years.

(One of the best movies ever, IMHO.)
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Old 12-02-2001, 09:07 PM
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I and my brother watched it once on videotape while he kept count of the days that were specifically shown. There's only something like 35 days in the movie itself. However, to do all the things that he's practiced at, it would clearly have to be hundreds of days. Twenty years, let alone thousands of years, is clearly an overestimate.
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Old 12-02-2001, 09:15 PM
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I think "hundreds of days" is severely low. He had to know the way things happened in multiple parts of the town to the exact second, as well as becoming an accomplished pianist and ice sculptor. And going through the bouts of insanity and suicide and samaritanism, et cetera. And the months of practice he spent with the playing cards and the hat...not to mention the amount of time spent to get bored enough to even start with the cards and the hat. Years and years and years.
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Old 12-02-2001, 09:50 PM
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The context seemed to be left on the cutting room floor, but there is a reference to his being a doctor also. That would add quite a few years right there.

January 29 will see the released of a Special Edition DVD, complete with a documentary and, I believe, commentary. Perhaps the question will be answered then.

I too love this movie!

Eq
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Old 12-03-2001, 04:23 AM
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I think most of you are overestimating by a long way. Sure, it takes a lot of practice to learn piano or ice sculpting, but once he figured out how it worked, he could spend day after day practicing at those things. I would say it had to be at least a couple hundred days, but no more than about 2 years. And that is at the very most.

Imagine if you quit your job today and took up studying piano, ice sculpting and learning the happenings of one day in a relatively small town. Would you take 20 years to figure it out? I doubt it.
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Old 12-03-2001, 05:14 AM
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Yeah but how many days would he dedicate to sex? And with how many women?

God repeating this day would suck for my life now. Maybe Aug 23, 1997.
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Old 12-03-2001, 08:19 AM
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I would say it had to be at least a couple hundred days, but no more than about 2 years.
Wow. I strongly disagree; rewatch the movie to see the number of things with which he ends up having intimate, preternatural knowledge at one point or another. For fear of turning this into GD, though, I'll just express my opposite opinion this one additional time and leave it at that.
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Old 12-03-2001, 10:32 AM
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I figured about 10 years. Why? I have no idea. But I don't know too many people who can learn to play the piano like that in a short period of time, regardless of how long they practice. Learning french would take a while too. Sculpting could be relatively short, if he was full of natural talent, but I tend to think that probably took a while too. It took him six months alone just to learn how to toss cards into a hat like that. Plus all the other mentioned activities, such as knowing every single person, and having the complete activities of the day timed down to the second.

Five years is my absolute minimum guess. And I think he'd have to been busting with all sorts of talent for that.

Can't wait for the DVD, though. I love that movie.
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Old 12-03-2001, 12:31 PM
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For the piano playing - didn't he learn the basics and then focus on one song (jazzy arrangement of Rachmaninov)?

You might do that in a year with 2-3 hours of diligent practice a day. The problem is that he's an adult and it takes a long time to get "fluid" in the fingers - you're playing always sounds "stiff" even if you are hitting the right notes. I know, because I took up the piano as an adult.

His playing sounds like someone who has been with the instrument all their life. But, that's movie magic for ya!
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Old 12-03-2001, 12:45 PM
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The piano thing always got me too- the sticking point being the teacher. I wonder how hard it would be to get a real piano lesson from someone who (in their world) just met you and can only give you one lesson.

That's not to say it couldn't be done, just that it would take quite a bit longer. There are certain things that must be repeated every day just to set the stage. If he's reading a book or memorizing a passage or learning to carve ice or doing anything that requires more than one day, he has to first reaquire whatever he was using to study. He can't take notes. Anything that requires the assistance of another human being must be preceded by a time-consuming courtship or an offer of cash (Which in turn must be acquired at a specific time).

I tend to agree more with the people who are saying quite a long time.
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Old 12-03-2001, 01:03 PM
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... you're playing always sounds "stiff" even if you are hitting the right notes.
you're playing?? noooo!!! your playing!!

I can't believe I did that - I hate that
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Old 12-03-2001, 01:07 PM
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Years and years and years. There's no telling how long he was stuck in the loop, but like most of the rest here and for all the reasons cited, I assumed it was many dozens of years, at least.

Definitely one of Hollywood's best offerings in recent years. Great story, well written, well paced and well performed. Tight editing and great overall design. Notice especially, that every repeated scene is shot from a new perspective. Sometimes the shift is subtle, but it's definitely different. The viewer, like Murray, knows that he's been through this scene before, but at the same time it's different, if for no other reason than Murray is different (another day's experience under his belt).
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Old 12-03-2001, 01:30 PM
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... you're playing always sounds "stiff" even if you are hitting the right notes.
you're playing?? noooo!!! your playing!!

I can't believe I did that - I hate that
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Old 12-03-2001, 02:11 PM
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I believe the "doctor" reference in the movie is because he saves that guy whilst choking, non? Not like he's an actual doctor of medicine. Like when I was in Boy Scouts and the guy who taught first aid was "Doctor Bob", or like when I was in college and the guy we bought drugs from was "Doctor Happy Pills"



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Old 12-03-2001, 02:43 PM
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Hey, my favorite movie of all time!!

I'd tend to think ten to twenty years.

Did you notice that there's one scene which doesn't seem to belong? Every other scene is from Bill's perspective, but after one of his suicides, the other characters are shown gathered around his <i>body.</i> This, to me, indicates that each one of the universes continues its existence after midnight on 3 February.

Wonder what would happen if he guzzled coffee so as to force himself to stay awake until the next day?

If I'd been the Bill Murray character, I'd have tried jumping in the truck as soon as I woke up and just leaving, trying to get home -- or at least anywhere except Punxsutawney.

(Perhaps that part ended up on the cutting room floor.)
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Old 12-03-2001, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Neidhart
If I'd been the Bill Murray character, I'd have tried jumping in the truck as soon as I woke up and just leaving, trying to get home -- or at least anywhere except Punxsutawney.

(Perhaps that part ended up on the cutting room floor.)
I agree. You could spend 5 years just trying different ways to get out of town, or see how far you could go. Buy a snowmobile with that money bag and head out til you can buy a car and head for Vegas, the Concorde, whatever.

Of course, if his memory was good enough, he could focus on one ting at a time. But, ould he pactice the piano exclusively every day, and let the kid fall out of the tree and the guy at the wedding choke? Or, once he saw something/one he could fix/save, would he feel obligated to fix/save them EVERY day? Remember how he kept trying to save the homeless guy.

If he does that, then I'd have to up my estimate to 50-100 years easy.
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Old 12-03-2001, 04:00 PM
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Wonder what would happen if he guzzled coffee so as to force himself to stay awake until the next day?
He did stay awake several times until morning. It lasted until 5:59 am, then the day started all over again at 6 am.

Quote:
f I'd been the Bill Murray character, I'd have tried jumping in the truck as soon as I woke up and just leaving, trying to get home -- or at least anywhere except Punxsutawney.
He does try to get home. There is a scene of him trying to leave in the truck and getting stopped by road closures. He can't beat the snow storm that keeps him locked in the town.
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Old 12-03-2001, 10:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by broccoli!
I believe the "doctor" reference in the movie is because he saves that guy whilst choking, non? Not like he's an actual doctor of medicine. Like when I was in Boy Scouts and the guy who taught first aid was "Doctor Bob", or like when I was in college and the guy we bought drugs from was "Doctor Happy Pills"



Thinking about it today, I recalled two other references, besides saving the mayor from choking. During the big party scene at the end, one of the characters (possibly the mayor's wife) calls him "Dr. Connors" and earlier, when Phil is told the old man had died, he pushes his way past the nurse and looks at the old guy's medical chart. He was looking at it - reading it - the way a doctor would, not a layperson trying to make sense of the scribbles and notations.

We'll see if it's mentioned on the new DVD. I can't wait for the commentary!

(Now, if they'd only release Quick Change on DVD!)

Eq
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Old 12-03-2001, 10:50 PM
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Plus all the other mentioned activities, such as knowing every single person, and having the complete activities of the day timed down to the second.
Depends on the person. Phil seems like the kind of guy who would have memorised actions down to the second by the end of the first month, at least in one small section of town for a short period of time. On the other hand, I think it would take me the better part of a year before I started timing events and working out what time everything happens. I would be less observant than he is. In fact, I could probably go a year without noticing one major thing that he picked up on in the first day! He's a newsman, he's used to watching out for things to report on, getting the timing right, that sort of thing.

I have never really considered how long he was there, but I guess it would have been a year or two... learning to play that song, getting to know the townsfolk, all the different things he did would take time, especially since everybody who knows him thinks they met him for the first time sometime that day.
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Old 12-03-2001, 11:02 PM
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He's a newsman
He's actually not.
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Old 12-03-2001, 11:51 PM
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Phil seems like the kind of guy who would have memorised actions down to the second by the end of the first month...
Actually, I thought he was rather self centered at the beginning. Starting to notice that other people existed seemed to be part of his progress.
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Old 12-04-2001, 01:52 AM
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I can't even begin to count how many times I've seen this movie, and I get the impression of huge amounts of times - definitely decades, perhaps centuries.
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Old 04-18-2003, 07:56 AM
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I'm only dragging this old thread up because I just saw the movie again and was doing a search about it here but according to the IMDB's trivia page on the movie:
Quote:
Phil repeats Groundhog Day for nearly 10 years, which explains his ability on the piano.
Now it doesn't give a source or any substantiation for it but I thought it might be of interest.
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Old 04-18-2003, 08:14 AM
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I remember that one of the links in IMDB led to a website that gave a detailed exposť on the number of visible days in the movie, and said it totaled to the exact number of days/weeks that winter would last according to the groundhog. I didn't check it at the time. Can't search for the website at present, maybe I'lll get around to it later.

Great movie indeed.
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Old 04-18-2003, 09:20 AM
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One of my favorite movies.

I am still bothered about the leaving town thing. He tried to leave town, but was stopped because of the closed roads, due to the snowstorm. But wasn't this later in the day? Why couldn't he high tail it out of town as soon as he got up a 6:00AM? And if he does get out of town, what happens then? Say he gets out of town, drives to Philly, and catches a plane to London, all in the same day. What happens at 6:00AM the next day? Will he wake up in "Punxsutawney Hell" again?

I dunno why, but these questions have always nagged at me.
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Old 04-18-2003, 09:24 AM
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This movie could have been a series, like Quantum Leap. There are so many possibilities and problems that I can't imagine the struggle to keep it to movie length.

According to the "rules" of the movie, if he left town, he would end up in bed at 6:00 AM just like always. I'm willing to believe that if death doesn't stop that, travel doesn't either.

I know that if I was in this situation, I would spend many many days just testing the conundrum I was in. How far can I drive, what if I stay in bed all day, what if I take stimulants, etc. I like to think that he did all of these things, we just didn't see it.
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Old 04-18-2003, 09:56 AM
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I'm willing to believe that if death doesn't stop that, travel doesn't either.
Doh! Good point!

[Fingolfin slinks away and crawls back under his rock]
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Old 04-18-2003, 09:58 AM
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[James Lipton]Nay, good sir! Slink not![/Lipton]

I'm happy that this thread got revived. It reminded me to order the new DVD.
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Old 04-18-2003, 10:11 AM
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[crawls back out]

But wait! I just remembered something! Are you sure the town itself doesn't have any influence over Mr. Murray's character experiencing "Punxsutawney Hell" (as I like to call it)?

Every time he died he was in town right? He never did make it out of town. Can we be sure that if he indeed did make it out of town, and stayed out of town until 6:00AM the next day, that the "Punxsutawney Hell" spell would not be broken? Food for thought.

I know I am being silly here, but play along with me for a bit.
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Old 04-18-2003, 10:19 AM
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See, this is what I mean! Trying to get out of town is the logical thing to do, after a fashion, so that makes me sure that he tried it a few times. However, we only see him try it that once, late in the day, when it's already snowing.

My guess is that the time constraints of the movie left us with the one scene of him trying to leave, but I don't know if that satisfies me completely. I wonder if the point was that Rita was keeping him in town. That Whatever or Whoever was manipulating his life had decided that she was what he needed, and he was going to wake up every day at 6AM in Punxatawney until they GOT! IT! ON!

But it's just a guess.
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Old 04-18-2003, 10:28 AM
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Apparently, according to the new DVD comentary (which I haven't heard but read about on the IMDB boards), the original screenplay was written with the figure ten thousand years in mind. Harold Ramis also commented on some TBS presentation of the movie that Phil spent some ten thousand days in Punxatawney. That second number seems reasonable.
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Old 04-18-2003, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by stolichnaya
That Whatever or Whoever was manipulating his life had decided that she was what he needed, and he was going to wake up every day at 6AM in Punxatawney until they GOT! IT! ON!

Actually, they never get it on in the movie. On the morning when his life advances to 3 February, as he realises that things are different he starts kissing her and she says that she wishes he was like that last night since just fell asleep and he says it was the end of a very long day.
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Old 04-18-2003, 10:39 AM
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I come from the school where "get it on" refers to any point on a whole spectrum of behavior.
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Old 04-18-2003, 10:49 AM
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Ok, I'm a pedant but two things about the notion that "getting it on" was the solution for advancing to Feb 3:

1. He kissed her many times before when he was trying to seduce her and that never advanced the date.

2. She makes it clear that they didn't do anything much (in the intimate sense) the night before.


My Deepish opinion
I prefer to believe that the movie is about salvation and while the selfish, egocentric Phil Connors continues to use the day for selfish means, he is doomed to repeat it. It is only once he discovers that he can use his situation for the good of others that he is saved from his predicament and Rita comes to love him.
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Old 04-18-2003, 10:54 AM
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Zombie thread- run for your life!


I agree- the movie a classic tale of redemption. Until Phil got it exactly right he could not move forward.

Got to love:

"Morons, your bus is leaving!"

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Old 04-18-2003, 11:28 AM
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"is a classic tale" Sigh.

Another quote to ease my sorrow:

Phil: It's the same things your whole life. "Clean up your room!", "Stand up straight!", "Pick up your feet!", "Take it like a man!", "Be nice to your sister!", "Don't mix beer and wine, ever!". Oh yeah, "Don't drive on the railroad track!"
[turns car onto the railroad tracks]
Gus: Eh, Phil. That's one I happen to agree with.
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Old 04-18-2003, 11:56 AM
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I'm in the 'Thousands of Years' camp. Punxsutawney has almost 7000 people, I'm sure to be as familiar with everybody in the town as he was he spent at LEAST several days devoted to getting to know each one. His skill at the piano would take decades considering he was limited in how many lessons he could take in a day, and that he seemed to be a much better pianist than he could have become learning from one small town piano teacher alone. Considering how much he helped some people, I'm sure there were plenty more in a town that size that he probably came to know well enough that he felt obligated to do something to make them feel better each day, that probably ate up a huge amount of his time, 'making the rounds'. Still, when I add it up, the time I figure necessary is still thousands of years, probably not more than a couple of hundred - but I don't think he spent every day studying to become omniscient god of Punxsutawney. He probably spent decades just goofing off, or trying to bed every woman in town, then trying to see how many combinations of women he could bed simultaneously. He probably read every book he could find to see if there was any mention, anywhere, of a phenomenon like this. He may have spent time watching the news and trying to prevent tragedies by telephone (read about a fatal car accident, research the names of those involved, call them and tell them not to leave the house that day) - I find it hard to believe he would have limited his attempts to make the world better to just the one town.

I think he could have learned everything he did in a couple of centuries, but considering human nature and how familiar he was with everything, down to the second, I feel he would have had to spend thousands of years there. One could read a library full of books describing in detail the lives of 7000 people in a few decades, perhaps, but to memorize that much information would take a lot longer. I think to have such a godlike understanding of his world he would have had to spend an inhuman amount of time there.
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Old 04-18-2003, 01:02 PM
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I don't see how it could have been thousands or even hundreds of years, DVD commentary be damned.

Here's why:

Phil Connors was still basically a normal guy by the end of the movie. Don't you think that even a couple of decades of this crap would pervert someone utterly?

Think about how he would begin to relate to people. It would all become a horrible dream. All sense of reality would vanish. He might start attacking or murdering people on sight because he knew there would be no consequences. He might make a habit of doing any number of heinous or outrageous things once he lost his grip on reality. Just look what happened to Gollum.

However, the movie gives us the impression that he's always aware that reality is still out there somewhere, and that once he progresses to February 3, he continues on to live a normal life of being exceptionally nice to people, and none the worse because of his experience.

Are we expected to believe that he returns to normal, functioning society after 20,000 years of complete perversion?? I don't think so.

I give it two to five years, tops.
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Old 04-18-2003, 01:19 PM
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Interesting Jpeg Jones, very interesting.

But this brings us back to the "trapped in the town" thing again. Hehe. If he couldn't get out of town each day, he would be forced to face the consequences of his "perverted" actions. We see a couple of examples of this in the movie. Spending each and every day, for however many years, running from the cops and/or sitting in jail is not the best way to spend your time, especially when time is infinite as far as you are concerned.

Now I suppose one could argue that with his complete mastery of the town and the actions of it's inhabitants, he could become a "Super Serial Killer" or something. He knows where everyone is and what everyone is doing. He could probably kill, or do some other extreme deviant behaviors, in isolation without any real fear of being "stressed" because of what he just did. If he planned it right, he could make sure the body was never found before the end of the day; No stressor, no consequences.........

[blink]

You know Jpeg Jones, come to think of it, you may be on to something there.

Whoa, this movie is "deep" on so many levels.

Heh
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Old 04-18-2003, 03:54 PM
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Now here is a clincher

Could Phil in fact be in a sort of Limbo or Purgetory where he is forced to his day over and over until one of two things, Heaven and advancing on or Hell and utter madness.

He almost loses to 'hell' a couple of times and tries to kill himself to just make it stop but is unable too.

Personally, IMHO living a day over and over is almost a special circle of Hell. Monotony scares me (even had a nightmare about it)
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Old 04-18-2003, 03:57 PM
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Sorry me and Mrs Bitties had a long discussion over the impacts of the movie itself on the human psyche. One of our main ones was 'would Phil conclude that there was a higher power' due to this kind of miracle or curse?'

Its a grand movie, and is a lot deeper than some people imagine.
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Old 04-18-2003, 04:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Boyo Jim
Just saw the Bill Murray flick again, and wondered how many times Bill had to relive the same day in order to learn all he had to learn about the PA town Punk-something? Every detail of those people's lives, keyboard playing, ice sculpture, grand larceny... the list goes on.

It would seem to me that ten or twenty years worth of subjective time for Bill would not be an unreasonable for all that. If it were me, once I tumbled across ripping off the armored car for a big bag of cash, I could spend five years just figuring cool ways to blow the money for the rest of the day.
man i could think of so many things to do..
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Old 04-19-2003, 12:19 PM
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Two thoughts on his humanity:
1. Maybe he DID go through a homicidal phase in an off camera moment. The fact that hedoesn't fear his own death suggests that he knows that no matter what, everyone's coming back.

2. Maybe there was that nagging feeling of not wanting to do anything TOO horrible for fear that THIS TIME it would be the day that led to Feb 3. Do you think eventually he got over this fear because he couldn't POSSIBLY believe it would? The attempts of suicide suggest otherwise.

GREAT THREAD!
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Old 04-19-2003, 01:22 PM
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Maybe he did the homicidal insanity bit, and then got over it. Like, emerged on the other side.

I mean, there's only so many times you can murder a whole town, right? He probably had months of killing every single person in town by 7am and then for the rest of the day using their bodies to act out his own version of Much Ado About Nothing, but I imagine it'd get old after a while.

Possibly, murder just got boring?
  #47  
Old 04-19-2003, 02:04 PM
Fingolfin is offline
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It would have been great if they added some "murderous rampage" scenes into the Special Edition DVD. Just a couple quick, non-gory, killings to fit in with the tight pacing of the movie.

It would have been hilarious to see that "Watch your step, it's a doozey (sp?)" guy get off-ed.

"Phil? Phil, is that you?" BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM!

LOL!
  #48  
Old 04-19-2003, 04:49 PM
Boyo Jim is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jpeg Jones
I don't see how it could have been thousands or even hundreds of years, DVD commentary be damned.

Here's why:

Phil Connors was still basically a normal guy by the end of the movie. Don't you think that even a couple of decades of this crap would pervert someone utterly?

Think about how he would begin to relate to people. It would all become a horrible dream. All sense of reality would vanish. He might start attacking or murdering people on sight because he knew there would be no consequences. He might make a habit of doing any number of heinous or outrageous things once he lost his grip on reality. Just look what happened to Gollum.....
Yes, but Phil DOES have constant interaction with people, though admittedly bizarre in nature.

And suppose he did go insane? Over a long enough period, he could be cured. Recall the whole series of suicide attempts, which are arguably a phase of mental illness that he grew out of.
  #49  
Old 04-19-2003, 05:23 PM
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What doesn't kill you makes you stronger!
  #50  
Old 04-19-2003, 07:23 PM
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I imagine at some point the constant failure of anything new happening would complete whitewash a person's personality. You've said everything, done everything, thought everything and there's nothing new left to do. I mean at some point you become resigned to the fact that this is eternity for you and there's no way out. I think the only way you can get by in this world after thousands of years is to become completely and utterly detached from the world around you. You might even begin settling into a groove where you do the exact same thing every day, in effect mimicing your surroundings. And with nothing new to shock you out of your repeating path this becomes, in a sense, your death. You're no longer an actor but part of the background.

Phil's low key humor at his "resurrection" makes me think he hasn't been there for centuries. He's been there a long time, he's bored but not nearly to the point of giving up. Rather I think he was still on the upslope of knowledge to be gained within this day he'd been alotted.

Probably the day before his final day he was still exploring certain avenues of the town and figuring out new areas. But his knowledge about the town was vast enough that he felt he could create a perfect day and so he planned it out the night before. A day in which he acted in ways which were only positive and made people feel good. Like the piano teacher. How would she know know that he was her student unless he went and saw her that day, something he clearly no longer needed to do?

I think 10,000 days, a little over 27 years, is the right amount of time.
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