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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.

Director:

Ronald Neame

Writers:

Jerome Lawrence (play), Jerome Lawrence (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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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:
Walter Matthau ... Dan Snow
Jill Clayburgh ... Ruth Loomis
Barnard Hughes ... Chief Justice James Jefferson Crawford
Jan Sterling ... Christine Snow
James Stephens ... Mason Woods
Joshua Bryant ... Bill Russell
Wiley Harker Wiley Harker ... Justice Harold Webb
F.J. O'Neil F.J. O'Neil ... Justice Waldo Thompson
Charles Lampkin Charles Lampkin ... Justice Josiah Clewes
Lew Palter ... Justice Benjamin Halperin
Richard McMurray Richard McMurray ... Justice Richard Carey
Herb Vigran ... Justice Ambrose Quincy
Edmund Stoiber Edmund Stoiber ... Committee Chairman
Noble Willingham ... Nebraska Attorney
Richard McKenzie ... 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:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 August 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

...Kinek a bírónő See more »

Filming Locations:

June Lake, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$12,480,249

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$12,480,249
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Martha Scott: Uncredited. This film was veteran actress Scott's only feature film credit as a producer. 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

Mason Woods: Would you like tea or whiskey?
Justice Dan Snow: Both. No, skip the tea, I don't want to overdo it.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ban the Sadist Videos! Part 2 (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

The Thunderer
(uncredited)
Music by John Philip Sousa
Arranged by Ian Fraser
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Nine Old Men get a woman
3 November 2012 | by bkoganbingSee 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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