Movie Editor's Blog

Movie Editor's Blog

How long was Bill Murray stuck in Groundhog Day?

Ever wonder how long Bill Murray’s character was stuck in ‘Groundhog Day’ for? Well a film blog has worked it out for you: 33 years and 350 days.

[Related story: Bill Murray: 'No one recognises me']

Sonny & Cher... Phil was woken by his clock radio an apparently 12,395 times. (Credit: Rex)

Four days ago the town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, celebrated Groundhog day – the annual event based around a prophetic rodent’s ability to foresee the early arrival of spring. The tradition was popularised by the 1993 film of the same name starring Bill Murray as sardonic TV weatherman Phil Connors, fated to repeat the same day in Punxsutawney over and over again.

Now, to celebrate 20 years of the iconic 1993 comedy, WhatCulture.com has worked just how long Phil Connors spent limbo. Amazingly, the torturous time equates to repeating the same day 12,395 times. Check out the blog here.

Murray's character falls into madness and depression before finding an escape in Rita. (Credit: Rex)

Director and fellow ‘Ghostbuster’ Harold Ramis originally stated that he thought Murray’s character had been stuck in Punxsutawney for ten years, however in 2009 he admitted the estimate was far too short.

“It takes at least 10 years to get good at anything,” said Ramis, “and allotting for the down time and misguided years he spent, it had to be more like 30 or 40 years.”

The film blogger methodically reassessed ‘Groundhog Day’ looking at three stages of the film.

These included the 38 “Days shown on screen”, the 414 “Days mentioned” (including the “six months. Four to five hours a day” spent throwing playing cards into a hat), and the colossal 11,931 "Days spent learning".

Based off the theory that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at anything, this third stage covered the time needed for Phil to learn French poetry, ice sculpting and the piano. All in the name of impressing his producer Rita, played by Andie MacDowell.

There’s also a final additional stage identified as the “Gesture days”, in which Murray’s character saves a falling child, performs the Heimlich Manoeuver and buys a couple of newlyweds ‘Wrestlemania’ tickets.

Dubious reasoning or perfect analysis? Let us know what you reckon…