Groundhog Day The Movie, Buddhism and Me
The Name Ned Ryerson
John Bednarz, a visitor to the site, wrote me in the summer of 2005:
Did you know that in the Chilmark cemetery on Martha's Vineyard where John Belushi is buried that a gravestone in the name of Ned Ryerson exists. Is there any connection? Murray was on SNL with Belushi. Ramis directed a lot of movies with Ackroyd, Murray etc. Just wondering if you have any knowledge or thoughts on this subject. Could the name of the character have come form this gravestone? Is this really where Belushi is buried rather than the fake stone in the front of the cemetery?
Rather than guessing, I wrote the screenwriter. As it happens, he is generous enough to answer my email. Danny Rubin responded:
That is a very cool theory. Hate to keep anyone from spreading it around, but I can't say it happened that way. I totally completely made the name up in my head. When I wrote it I was picturing Ned Beatty as the obnoxious salesman, so that's where Ned came from. And Ryerson I totally invented because it sounded funny and appropriate in the right kind of way. I remember my mouth moving around making different sounds until the right one came out. I had no idea it was a real name. And I've never been to Martha's Vineyard, but one day I shall go and when I do I will visit the grave of Ned Ryerson.
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Other material. This is a chronological "blog" of new Groundhog Day material as it accumulates; much of it once resided on the home page, but that page had become too large.
Groundhog Day essay in Stephen Simon's book, The Force Is With You: Mystical Movie Messages That Inspire Our Lives
Groundhog Day essay by Mario Sesti in the Museum of Modern Art catalog for, The Hidden God: Film and Faith
Groundhog Day by Ryan Gilbey, published by the British Film Institute and the University of California Press.
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