It’s Bill Murray‘s birthday! To mark the occasion, here are five performances from the acclaimed comedic and dramatic actor. Check some of these out!
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)
This would undoubtedly be the best contribution Bill Murray ever made to the world of fancy dress parties, were in not for the fact that he starred in Ghostbusters (1984). Sporting a look partially cribbed from famed oceanographer Jacques Cousteau, Murray brought the instantly indelible Steve Zissou to the screen in his third collaboration with director Wes Anderson. Taking a more central role than he had previously when paired with the filmmaker, Murray’s pithiness and pathos anchors a film that feels like watching a hyperactive child prodigy play with a dollhouse. I mean that affectionately.
“Call it fate, call it luck, call it karma — I believe everything happens for a reason…” When the teaser trailer for Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021) wanted to mine nostaligia the hardest, it leant on words spoken in the 80s original by Bill Murray’s Peter Venkman. There’s a lot of great stuff in Ghostbusters (1984), but Murray’s sardonic parapsychologist is undoubtedly the star of the show. The ultimate avatar of the slobs vs. snobs genre let loose on New York City’s supernatural pests, this is probably many people’s first exposure to Murray’s comic sensibilites, and it’s justifiably a classic.
Would Bill Murray as we know him exist without Rushmore? We’d have post-SNL Bill Murray, sure. We’d even have romantic lead Bill Murray. Indie darling Bill Murray, though? For that, we have this film to thank — a career landmark that sees Murray at war with Jason Schwartzman for the affection of Olivia Williams. Murray loved the screenplay so much he apparently took the role for a $9,000 payday.
Groundhog Day (1993)
What can be said about Groundhog Day that hasn’t already been said? What can be said about Groundhog Day that hasn’t already been said? It’s a classic. What can be said about Groundhog Day that hasn’t already been said? It’s a classic. A movie so good it practically spawned its own genre, establishing itself as the blueprint for time loop stories on film. What can be said about Groundhog Day that hasn’t already been said? It’s a classic. A movie so good it practically spawned its own genre, establishing itself as the blueprint for time loop stories on film. It only gets better each time you go back to it.
On the Rocks (2020)
Sofia Coppola really cashes in on Murray’s near-mythic persona with On the Rocks. He plays a father who looms extremely large in his daughter’s life — what could Sofia Coppola possibly know about that?! — witlessly preying on her insecurities, and effortlessly charming everyone else around him. Confession time: I’m more fond of this movie than Lost In Translation. Fight me in the comments!
What are some of your favorite films to feature birthday boy Bill Murray?