Groundhog Day Question

Has anyone ever read a back story or behind-the-scenes story that says how many times Bill’s character was to have relived Groundhog’s Day? (Yes, I *know *that the movie doesn’t say.)

Phil Connors goes through February 2nd 34 times. There were many more days implied, of course: his hyper accurate knowledge of events in the armored car scene near the beginning of the day repetitions, also his vast knowledge of everyone in the town, diner etc. However, he clearly mentions 6 other deaths that he has experienced but have not been shown, thus making the number of days revealed in the movie 40, though only 34 days were actually shown. On the DVD, Harold Ramis states that the original idea was for him to live February 2nd for about 10,000 years. Later he says that Phil probably lived the same day for about 10 years

from here


He has to have had enough piano lessons to play the piano well, so I think it has to be more than 40 days.

Writer Danny Rubin:

“I know that I have been quoted as having originally intended for Phil to have lived “ten thousand years”, a time-frame with Buddhist overtones. I find that so incredibly cool that I put no effort into disputing it. But it’s not true. For me, any lifetime for Phil longer than one would have sufficed, and even so, that statistic never had to leave my head. As long as the audience understood it to be a very, very long time, it never had to become specific.”

Actually, all he needed was enough piano lessons to play *one particular song * well.

He needs more than 40 days, but learning it within 10 years is definitely reasonable.

There is a scene where Murray and McDowell are sitting on his bed flipping cards into a hat. She keeps missing and he keeps getting them in. She asks him how he got so good at it and he says something about practicing for 6 months straight.

I love that movie. At the same time, a darkly cynical part of me wonders how a person who’s gotten used to immortality of a sort could possibly function normally once time “resumed” for him, as at the end of the movie.

I mean, after all those suicide attempts, he’s probably grown pretty careless about little things like crossing the street, ya know? It’d suck to break out of the loop only to die in a car crash or slipping in the shower a few days later.

At the end of the film he says “Let’s move here”…to a place where he knows every inch of the town, every crack in every sidewalk by this time. And, unlike everyone else, he actually knows that a power greater than himself exists and can grant eternal life.

The IMDB reviews of this film are great reading. One of the most interesting observations was that, given perfect knowledge and enough time, we’d all be saints. Phil knew that the old man begging was legitimately homeless. Other reviewers pointed at that he went through all of Kubler-Ross’ stages of death.

I could have sworn that we’ve discussed this before.

Really? I think a lot of us would still be lying to Nancy to get her in the sack from time to time.

I see what you did there. :wink:

We did (though I suspect every other Feb. or so, this topic will re-emerge). :slight_smile: Great film.

I wonder how much of his life he forgot. Did he have a dinner out with someone the next day? If he was gone for a really, really long time how much would he forget? His ATM code? His home address? For him, going back to his house would be like visiting his childhood home. If he actually was stuck for 10,000 years, he might be unable to function in the real world where everything is new and unexpected. Hell, he wants to move to the town at the end of the film. He just might have become habituated, to use the prison term.

The Only Movie playing in the town is Heidi II, which Phil claims to have seen 100 times. In a crappy small town theater, with (at best) three shows a day, thats at least thirty odd days there. Thats assuming he would sit through Heidi II three times a day, mind.

I went into the living room this year on Groundhog Day to find my wife watcing the movie – TBS was showing it.

“Well, that’s more than a bit predictable”, I said to my wife. “What they need to do is show it again at the same time tomorrow morning. And the day after that as well…”

On a lark, I checked the on-screen guide for the next few days, and whaddayaknow…someone in TBS’s programming department has a good sense of humor.

I see what you did there. :wink:

I could have sworn that we’ve discussed this before.


Has anyone ever read a back story or behind-the-scenes story that says how many times Bill’s character was to have relived Groundhog’s Day? (Yes, I know that the movie doesn’t say.)