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.


Ronald Neame


Jerome Lawrence (play), Jerome Lawrence (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
3 nominations. See more awards »





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 ... Justice Harold Webb
F.J. O'Neil F.J. O'Neil ... Justice Waldo Thompson
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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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


Comedy | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


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 This is an outdated standard for obscenity which was superseded by the so-called "Miller test" in 1973.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 »


Justice Dan Snow: You're not bothering me, you're interrupting me, but you're not bothering me.
See more »


Night Drive
Written by Giorgio Moroder
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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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Release Date:

21 August 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

...Kinek a bírónő See more »

Filming Locations:

June Lake, California, USA See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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