6.4/10
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First Monday in October (1981)

For the first time in history a woman is appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, where she becomes a friendly rival to a liberal associate.

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Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
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Christine Snow
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Joshua Bryant ...
Bill Russell
Wiley Harker ...
F.J. O'Neil ...
Charles Lampkin ...
...
Richard McMurray ...
...
Edmund Stoiber ...
Committee Chairman
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Nebraska Attorney
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Hostile Senator
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Storyline

Ruth Loomis becomes the first woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court. A staunch conservative, she immediately runs into conflict with Dan Snow, the high court's resident liberal. Although they never agree on the issues before the Court, they develop a respect and affection for each other after several comedic encounters. Written by Dave Gan <longbow@bigfoot.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In the Supreme Court, there are only eight of them against all of her.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 August 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

...Kinek a bírónő  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Actor James Stephens playing Mason Woods was cast in a part similar to his role in the TV series The Paper Chase (1978). Stephens, who plays law clerk Mason Woods to Supreme Court Justice Dan Snow (Walter Matthau), had played a law student on the television show The Paper Chase (1978) during the 1978-1979 television season. Although his character has a different name in this motion picture, the producers undoubtedly wanted to create a sense of verisimilitude and continuity by casting Stephens as a law clerk here, as though he had graduated from law school and moved on to this position. See more »

Goofs

Justice Loomis views a pornographic film to decide it it has "redeeming social or artistic importance". This is an outdated standard for obscenity which was superseded by the so-called "Miller test" in 1973. See more »

Quotes

Justice Dan Snow: She wants me to disqualify myself because I won't go down there and sit through that pile of crap?
Chief Justice Crawford: Uh, well, uh...
Justice Dan Snow: So its crap. What if it is crap? That's not the point. Crap's got the right to be crap.
Chief Justice Crawford: Drop the legal language, Dan.
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Soundtracks

Night Drive
(uncredited)
Written by Giorgio Moroder
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User Reviews

 
The Nine Old Men get a woman
3 November 2012 | by See all my reviews

Though First Monday In October didn't last too long on Broadway, the Jerome Lawrence-Robert E. Lee play made one fine sparkling movie for Walter Matthau and Jill Clayburgh taking over the roles that Henry Fonda and Jill Alexander did on the stage.

In 1978 when this was on stage, the iconoclastic William O. Douglas had been gone three years from the Supreme Court and the idea of a woman justice was yet untried. So imagine the serendipitous joy with the producers when Ronald Reagan added Sandra Day O'Connor to the court. You couldn't buy better publicity.

Matthau is clearly based on William O. Douglas who was a far seeing advocate for social justice and change on the bench. Matthau if you can believe is a kinder, gentler version of Douglas. In real life Douglas was not a nice guy, in fact personally he was a swine. The banter with which you see him engage his law clerk James Stephens would never happen, he went through law clerks like he did wives. Ditto with Jan Sterling playing Mrs. Matthau. The first Mrs. Douglas had taken a hike years earlier and Douglas was on wife number 4 in her twenties at this time. He died in 1980.

O'Connor replaced Potter Stewart in 1981 on the bench so in real life these two never served. Still First Monday In October you'd like to think would be how they got along with even a little romance thrown in once the two got to know each other. Douglas never got along with colleagues, especially those who had a different point of view.

Still Matthau is one of his patented curmudgeons and Clayburgh do have a good cinema chemistry which makes First Monday In October a pleasant piece of viewing.


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