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 <email@example.com>
The movie's closing credits declare: "Portions filmed in the Inyo National Forest with thanks to the U.S. Department of Agriculture - Forest Service and at Arlington National Cemetery with thanks to the U.S. Department of the Interior - National Parks Service." See more »
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 This is an outdated standard for obscenity which was superseded by the so-called "Miller test" in 1973.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 »
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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