It is becoming clearer and clearer that Groundhog Day (1993) , directed by Harold Ramis, is one of the masterpieces of 1990s Hollywood cinema. One of the first films to use a science-fiction premise as the basis for romantic comedy, it tells the story of a splenetic TV weatherman, Phil Connors (Bill Murray at his disreputable best) , who finds himself indefinitely repeating one drab day in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. The film is a deeply ambivalent fable: before he finds redemption Phil must plumb the depths of suicidal despair-and even after he has survived this, there are no guarantees that he will live happily ever after. Ryan Gilbey begins his account of Groundhog Day with the long and unlucky gestation of the script by Danny Rubin, who was interviewed for this book. Gilbey celebrates the inspired casting of Murray, Andie MacDowell, and less well-known actors such as Stephen Tobolowsky. In a subtle analysis, he unpacks the film's remarkable blend of humor and melancholy, revealing Groundhog Day to be a rare beast--a mainstream Hollywood comedy that grows richer with each repeat viewing. Illustrations: 29 color photos, 30 b/w photos
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16 September 2nd Assistant 2nd Unit actor alarm kicks Andie MacDowell Anne Billson asks audience Author interview Babe bed-and-breakfast Belushi BFI Modern Bill Murray Brian Doyle-Murray Buster Caddyshack camera Chris Elliott cinema Columbia Pictures comedy cuts straight Danny Rubin diner director draft extreme close-up eyes feel film-makers film's George Fenton going gonna greets Groundhog Day Harold Ramis hero Hollywood Jacques Brel kiss Lancaster Larry's lbid look loop lt's Lupoff Michael mocking montage morning movie Murray's Nancy narrative Pennsylvania Polka Phil and Rita Phil Connors Phil sits Phil's PHlL played Punxsutawney radio alarm clock Ramis and Rubin Ramis cuts repetition Rita and Larry Rita's Rubin's first revision Ryerson says Rubin Scenario scene screen screenplay Second revision September 2003 Sonny and Cher sound soundtrack street stuck studio takes There's thing Tip Top Cafe tomorrow town square voice voiceover watch weather