How Long Was Bill Murray Stuck In Groundhog Day?

2 February is 'Groundhog Day' – when, according to Punxsutawney folklore, a groundhog called Punxsutawney Phil predicts the arrival of spring.


The mad tradition spawned the 1993 comedy classic that saw Bill Murray’s sardonic TV weatherman Phil Connors stuck in the same day over and over again. But for just how long? Well a film blog has worked it out for you: 33 years and 350 days.

WhatCulture.com worked out just how long Phil Connors spent in limbo back in 2013 to mark the film's 20th anniversary. Amazingly, the torturous time equates to repeating the same day 12,395 times.

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…