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Bill Murray Groundhog Day 2021 - how many days does he spend in eternal return?

by Pierce King. Published Tue 02 Feb 2021 09:09, last updated: 03/02/21

While writer Danny Rubin’s original story imprisoned Murray’s character to live the same day for 10,000 years as part of a witches' curse...

The film’s director and script co-writer Harold Ramis revealed it is more like 10 years, speaking on the movie commentary.

Ghostbusters star Ramis (aka Egon Spengler - but also the doctor Bill Murray visits to see whether it is a brain injury, which is causing a delusion of an endlessly repeating day) is the more likely authority on the subject.

For a New York Times piece, film critic Manohla Dargis recounted a conversation she had with Harold, where he confirmed Phil’s time loop lasts 10 years.

Although Dargis states: '10 years scarcely seems long enough for all that he learns and experiences.'

She states it would have taken much longer for Phil to master his 'funny and sweet wooing of Rita,' the TV producer played by Andie MacDowell.

In the film, Phil Connors finally escapes the twisted time loop by adapting his questionable character yo become an inspirational figure and to live the day perfectly.

Along the way he learns the piano, catches a falling child from a tree, attempts to save the life of a homeless man and prevents the town’s mayor from choking on a bit of steak.

Perhaps his biggest achievement, however, is transforming over the course of the movie to become the sort of man Rita could love.

Dargis wrote: "It’s easy to get caught up in his evolution and to lose sight of what MacDowell and Ramis do with Rita.

“As the innocent foil for Phil, she has to retain our sympathies even when we’re giggling at his elaborate, comic ruses.

"She could have been the film’s dupe, but she becomes its soul: the woman the man has to learn to be worthy for.”

A while back, the chaps at new blog What Culture attempted to 'do the math' and calculate the exact amount of days based on what we see on screen. They estimated 33 years and 350 days with this list:

Learning the sequence: 42 days
Find Cowboy Outfit: 1 day
Watching Heidi 2 at the movies: 100 days
The Seduction of Rita: 4 days
Becoming fluent in French: 4380 days
Date fails: 8 days
The Suicide bids: 20 days
Learning ice sculpture: 3833 days
Card flipping: 180 days
Learning the piano: 3833 days

Total: 12,395 – or 33 Years, 350 days

But there is surely a lot of time, which Phil spends off screen, just lying in bed, what about the string of days where he destroys the alarm clock or how many days he spends memorising the answers on Jeopardy?

Here at Purple Revolver HQ, we're more keen on the original writers 10,000 years total. Now who wouldn't want a curse like that?





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