Okay, campers, rise and shine!!! And don’t forget your booties ‘cuz it’s cooooooold out there today, Chicago!!!
This month marks the 30th anniversary of the release of “Groundhog Day,” starring Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott and Bill Murray as curmudgeonly weather forecaster Phil Connors. Many scenes from the movie, which was directed by Harold Ramis, were filmed in Woodstock.
The McHenry County suburb hosts its own Groundhog Days festival each year with trivia, pancake breakfasts, walking tours of filming locations, a drink to world peace and prognostication by a live groundhog. Events there continue through this weekend, so don’t worry if you can’t today be among the “thousand people freezing their butts off waiting to worship a rat,” as Connors said.
The two-hour movie is being shown at a few local theaters today, but is also available on AMC and through a variety of streaming options.
“Groundhog Day” stands as the most well-known movie tied to Feb. 2, but what did Tribune critics make of it? I got you, babe — reviews of the movie and musical versions are listed below.
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— Kori Rumore, visual reporter
Chicago history | More newsletters | Puzzles & Games | Today’s eNewspaper edition
But say you can’t make it here, to the snowy heart of McHenry County, in February: The Woodstock Groundhog Days Committee whose official motto is “Every Day is Groundhog Day in Woodstock, IL!” — offers a quite thorough self-guided walking tour. View some of the sites along the tour.
Can you guess how many stars Siskel gave “Groundhog Day?” Find out.
Vintage Chicago Tribune
The Vintage Tribune newsletter is a deep dive into the Chicago Tribune’s archives featuring photos and stories about the people, places and events that shape the city’s past, present and future.
At the heart of director and co-writer Harold Ramis’ peak film achievement, “Groundhog Day” (1993), there’s an idea that comes straight out of a theater game popularized by improvisation pioneer Viola Spolin, the mother of Compass Players founder Paul Sills. Read more.
- From 1993: All herald Ramis — From “Animal House” to “Groundhog Day,” his comic genius strikes “deep in the heart, where we all share things”
- From 2014: Harold Ramis, Chicago actor, writer and director, dead at 69
Surprisingly, “Groundhog Day” did not have an advanced screening in the McHenry County city.
“The town was good enough to shoot in, but not good enough to bring the movie to,” said Matt Wakely, public relations manager for Classic Cinemas, which operated the Woodstock Theatre, in January 1993. Read more.
- From 1993: Groundhogs sink their teeth into their movie roles, but Murray called them “little ugly rats”
“Like Murray, caught in a time loop until he discovers selflessness, Woodstock also found its best self Feb. 2, 1993. And now it hopes Feb. 3 never arrives,” Christopher Borrelli wrote. Read more.
Rubin lived in the Chicago area while he earned a master’s degree at Northwestern University. Read more.
- Chris Jones: “Groundhog Day” musical has a lot of plot to rush through but is still a worthy winter escape.
- Chris Jones: “Groundhog Day” on Broadway — The show must (still) go on
- From 2017: “Groundhog Day” musical in London never repeats the movie
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Have an idea for Vintage Chicago Tribune? Share it with Ron Grossman and Marianne Mather at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.