Okay, campers. Rise and shine! It’s the 25th anniversary of Groundhog Day!
Directed by Harold Ramis (Caddyshack), the infinitely quotable cult classic stars Bill Murray (Ghostbusters) as a TV weatherman who’s having the day of his life…over, and over again. Featuring Andie MacDowell (Sex, Lies, and Videotape), Chris Elliott (The Abyss), and a hilariously repetitive script, this is one time warp comedy that never gets old!
Filmed on a budget of $14.6M, Groundhog Day was released in theatres on February 12, 1993 and went on to earn over $70M at the domestic box office. In fact, the film was so successful it was added to the United States National Film Registry in 2006!
Join us on an enlightening journey as we list 12 facts you probably didn’t predict about Groundhog Day. It’s the one time where an article really captures the true excitement of a large squirrel predicting the weather.
Oh, and don’t forget your booties ‘cause it’s coooold out there today!
1. “Phil? Phil Connors?!”
Before casting Bill Murray for role of Phil Connors, Groundhog Day producers considered a number of other big names, including: Mel Gibson, Billy Crystal, Kevin Costner, Howie Mandel, Kevin Kline, Alec Baldwin, Robin Williams, Michael Keaton, and Tom Hanks.
2. Time Stands Still
Keep an eye on the clocks scattered throughout the Tip Top Café. You’ll notice that they’re all stuck in the same position – a clever way of representing Phil’s recurring dilemma.
3. Dr. Ramis
Taking a break from behind the camera, Harold Ramis makes a brief appearance in Groundhog Day. You can catch the late director and screenplay co-writer as the neurologist who assures Phil his brain is okay, but that he might want to see a psychiatrist.
4. Family Affair
We hate to break it to you, but there’s no easy way to say this: there was more than one Punxsutawney Phil! In fact, an entire family of groundhogs was raised and trained for the production, all of whom were named Scooter. Awww!
5. Brotherly Love
The film’s rodent stars weren’t the only cast members sharing screen time with family members. Bill Murray’s brother, Brian Doyle-Murray (Wayne’s World), appears in the film as Buster Green, one of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Day officials.
6. “Boy in Tree”
Believe it or not, Shaun Chaiyabhat, the young boy who Phil catches as he falls out of a tree, grew up to be a local TV news reporter himself! If you’re ever in New England, you can catch Shaun on Boston’s WCVB-TV ABC 5.
7. Rodent Revenge
After Groundhog Day location scouts decided to shoot the film in Illinois instead of Pennsylvania, residents of the real-life Punxsutawney decided to get their revenge. How so? The town banned their very own Punxsutawney Phil from appearing in the movie!
8. Rock ‘N’ Roll Rita
In what would have been a very odd twist of fate, singer-songwriter, Tori Amos, was briefly considered to play opposite Bill Murray as news producer Rita Hanson before casting agents sided with Andie MacDowell.
9. Animal Altercation
It seems not everyone on the set of Groundhog Day was a fan of Mr. Murray. On more than one occasion, the funny man was bitten by a groundhog, including one incident so severe he needed a rabies shot!
10. Art Imitating Life
The scene where Phil reads to Rita as she sleeps beside him was actually inspired by Bill Murray’s wedding night. After his wife had too much to drink and passed out early, Murray read aloud to her until he fell asleep, too.
11. Caddyshack 3
In an early version of the script, Phil was meant to murder the groundhog in its lair! However, the idea was scrapped after producers said the scene was too similar to another Ramis/Murray collaboration, Caddyshack (1980).
12. Lasting Impression
A popular tourist attraction since the film’s release, the shooting location of Woodstock, Illinois has since added a number of plaques throughout their town to commemorate various Groundhog Day scenes. One of the more popular plaques is located along the sidewalk where Bill Murray repeatedly stepped in that pesky puddle.