IYHO did the homeless old man in Groundhog Day survive?

just curious. intrigued by the alternate ending thread for Big.

it seems pretty obvious to me that he did not. he tried, he failed, and he accepted it as a cycle of life. on the other hand at the party, people we’ve seen him helped before approached and thanked him, except for an old couple who addressed him as a doctor. it seems to me that he’s a different guy, but he is an old man and we’ve not seen him before, contrasted with all the others whom we’ve been shown explictly on screen. why would they show him if he’s not the homeless old man?

so what do you think? did he manage to save the old man?

Nope. Knowing there were some things he couldn’t alter was part of Phil’s education into the things that really matter. The couple who addressed him as “Docter” were the Mayor and his wife, since Phil saved the Mayor from choking on a piece of steak with the Heimlich.

No. It showed him doing everything conceivable but there was no saving him. He could only make him happy in his last moments.

Tangentially related trivia: In the original script for GROUNDHOG Day, a witch ex-girlfriend cast a spell on Bill Murray to catch him in time. Obviously, it was decided to drop this and just not explain it. I wonder if the movie would’ve been anywhere near as much a classic had they kept that original subplot.

Probably not. Having it unexplained lets the audience focus on Phil’s growth, instead of trying to game an escape.

No, you can not change some things.

It’s a great moment in the movie where he tries CPR on the guy, the guy dies, there is this pause…and Bill Murray looks up to God in frustration.

no, they showed both the Mayor and his wife and another old couple who addressed him as “Dr Connors”.

I’ll have to go look at the party scene again. Was it the old gals he changed the tire for? Because I don’t remember any random old couple off the top of my head.

That’s an interesting bit of trivia that it was going to be some spell cast on him. It’s funny that up until this moment, I never even realized or was bothered by the fact that it was unexplained.

I don’t think it would have been nearly the classic that it is today if it were any other way. I think it speaks volumes to how effective a movie it really is that I’ve literally never heard anyone complain about how or why it happened to him.

exactly, and which is why it seems so odd to include them.

eta: this is in reply to silenus.

The wife was one of the old ladies, her husband was Felix, the guard Phil calls “not so bright” when he steals the sack of money out the back of the armored truck early on in his misbehaving.

The man in the latter couple is Felix, the armored car guard. He’s listed in the credits as “Bank Guard Felix”, played by Chet Dubowski, as distinct from “Old Man”, played by Les Podewell. His wife says that “Dr. Connors” fixed his back. He did make sort of a pained exclamation in the scene where Phil steals the bag of cash, when he tried to bend down to pick up the quarters. When the scene cuts back to him, he’s on one knee to do it instead. We never see Phil actually help Felix, though, unlike everyone else who thanks him in the dance scene.

ah i see, thanks.

I agree that there was just no saving the old man.

That sequence was easily the most tear-jerking moment of the film, and it really spoke to Phil’s character growth. The old Phil wouldn’t have cared enough to even try, and because Failure Was the Only Option, he had to learn to move on.

My sister and I are about 50/50 on how the Groundhog Day Loop got started. Could’ve been when Phil got hit with the shovel while talking on the phone; could’ve been the bartender who gave a knowing glance at the camera.

there is that fairy dust tinkling sound effect used to indicate a magical moment. it was used twice in the movie; once when they tried to leave in the blizzard, and again when it began to snow after they kissed.

Yeah, she thanks Phil for fixing her husband’s back and says, “He can even help around the house again.”

Phil replies, “Well, I’m sorry, Felix”.

Phil would have been very busy helping folks out on his final day that presumably he just kindly euthanised the old man, using the stealthy neck-twist often seen in movies, rather than the rigmarole of futile CPR.

That’s great. So after the credits he is arrested for murder. Awesome stinger.

Jailed or not, I imagine Phil might have something of a crisis as he starts aging again, after all that time spent as an immortal. And while Andy MacDowell must have seemed like the best a small town could offer, isn’t he going to wake up just days later and wonder why he’s lying next to a wooden horse-faced creature*?

*see also Four Weddings & a Funeral

A point that hasn’t been raised previously, I think, is that the old man dies at night–Rita and Phil would already have been going around together at that point.

For what it’s worth, the script on IMSDb makes it explicit. It’s obviously an earlier version, and it has Rita following Phil around and observing his various good deeds. In it, she watches as he leaves a piece of paper on the old man’s body, and they have the following exchange:

RITA: Is he – ?
PHIL: Yeah. Let’s go.

But she insists on staying as the ambulance arrives and finds out what was on the paper–it was a poem Phil had written about letting go.

I prefer it the way it was actually filmed–it places his acceptance a little earlier and doesn’t break the mood in the finale.