A weather man is reluctantly sent to cover a story about a weather forecasting "rat" (as he calls it). This is his fourth year on the story, and he makes no effort to hide his frustration. On awaking the 'following' day he discovers that it's Groundhog Day again, and again, and again. First he uses this to his advantage, then comes the realisation that he is doomed to spend the rest of eternity in the same place, seeing the same people do the same thing EVERY day
Fun Facts from IMDb.com
Murray was bitten by the groundhog twice during the filming of this movie.
In one scene, Connors throws himself from the bell tower of a high building. This building is actually an opera house in Woodstock, Illinois, where the movie was filmed. Local legend has it that a young girl once committed suicide by throwing herself from the same bell tower. Her ghost is supposed to haunt the opera house.
Woodstock, Illinois is just 45 miles from Bill Murray's hometown of Wilmette. There is a small plaque that reads "Bill Murray stepped here" on the curb where Murray continually steps into a puddle.
The song that plays over parts of the opening and closing credits is "Weatherman", co-written by George Fenton and director Harold Ramis
The scene where Phil picks up the alarm clock and slams it onto the floor didn't go as planned. Bill Murray slammed down the clock but it barely broke, so the crew bashed it with a hammer to give it the really smashed look. The clock actually continued playing the song like in the movie (Sonny & Cher will never die).
Early drafts of the script explained the cause of Phil Connors' weird experience: a disaffected ex-lover called Stephanie cast a spell on him to teach him a lesson.
In the final encounter between Connors and annoying insurance salesman Ned Ryerson, According to director Ramis, most of the times when he tried to explain a scene to Murray, he would interrupt and respond, "Just tell me - good Phil or bad Phil?"
Director Harold Ramis originally wanted Tom Hanks for the lead role, but decided against it, saying that Hanks was "too nice".
Supposedly Paul Lynde of Bewitched was the inspiration for a line in Groundhog Day. After a high-speed chase through the Valley one night when he was driving recklessly while intoxicated, Lynde crashed his car into a mailbox. The police came to the car, guns drawn, and he lowered his window and told them "I'll have a cheeseburger, hold the onions, and a large Sprite."
Danny Rubin and Harold Ramis both said that they avoided exploring the truly dark side of Phil's time lapsing in which he could do truly horrible things without consequence (ie. murder, torture, etc.)
Bill Murray and Harold Ramis have both been honorary grand marshals for the Groundhog Day celebrations in Punxsatawney, PA.
When Phil and Rita are throwing cards into the hat, Phil advises Rita to "be the hat". This is an ad-libbed reference by Murray to Caddyshack (also directed by Ramis and starring Murray), in which Chevy Chase's character advises the main character to "be the ball" while tutoring him on golf.
When Phil is explaining to Rita his experiences he first says "I've been shot, stabbed, poisoned, drowned" and so on. Those were all done to Russian mystic Rasputin, but were not seen done to Phil.
The scene where Bill Murray gets out of the news van and talks to the state trooper is filmed on the Amstutz Expressway under the Grand Avenue overpass just outside of downtown Waukegan, Illinois. You can see the Waukegan business district in some of the shots. The Amstutz Expressway was also used for the filming of the big chase scene in the The Blues Brothers (1980).
Harold Ramis says 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
Originally, Phil was supposed to murder the groundhog in his lair. This was changed, however, since it seemed too much like Caddyshack.
Premiere voted this movie as one of "The 50 Greatest Comedies Of All Time" in 2006.
The idea comes from a famous book by Friedrich Nietzsche. In the book, Nietsche gives a description of a man who is living the same day over and over again.
The lines Andie MacDowell quotes in the café - "unwept, unhonoured, and unsung" - are from Sir Walter Scott's "Lay of the Last Minstrel", Canto vi, Stanza 1, which begins with the famous line, "Breathes there a man with soul so dead..."
Tori Amos was considered for the role of Rita.
Sunrise in early February in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania is not until around 7:25 am, so at 6 am it would actually be still fully dark.
At the piano teacher's house, when he is fumblingly playing Sergei Rachmaninov's "Rhapsody on a Theme by Paginini", is actually Bill Murray playing. He does not read music, but he learned that much of the song by ear. Sergei Rachmaninov's "Rhapsody on a Theme by Paginini", specifically its 18th Variation, was also used in another time fantasy movie, Somewhere in Time (1980).
The original version that was released to the movie theatres contained an extra scene with Phil and Rita at the bar. In it, she explains how she likes sweet vermouth with a twist because it reminds her of how the sun hits the buildings in Rome in the afternoon, and also how she would like to live in the mountains. In the VHS release, this scene has been cut, but the next scene in which Phil repeats these things to Rita, still remains. Some DVD versions have the missing scene in its original form.
More recently Bill Murray met a guy driving cross-country while killing zombies and looking for the last Twinkies
Bill Murray's availability on video, on DVD and books from Amazon.com
I was in the Virgin Islands once. I met a girl. We ate lobster and drank pina coladas. At sunset we made love like sea otters. That was a pretty good day. Why couldn't I get that day over and over and over...This is one time where television really fails to capture the true excitement of a large squirrel predicting the weather.