Taglines: In the Supreme Court, there are only eight of them against all of her.
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 one another after several comedic encounters.
First Monday in October is a 1981 American comedy-drama film based on the play of the same name by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee, and directed by Ronald Neame. Walter Matthau (for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy) and Jill Clayburgh (for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy) performed the principal roles. The cast also includes Jan Sterling in her final film role.
The film was originally scheduled for a February 1982 release; President Ronald Reagan’s appointment of Sandra Day O’Connor as the first female Supreme Court justice on July 7, 1981 forced the film’s release a month after the presidential nomination, in August of 1981.
About the Story
The death of Stanley Moorehead, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, has created a vacancy on the court. The president’s appointee turns out to be Ruth Loomis, a staunch conservative from Orange County, CA, who is confirmed as the first female Associate Justice.
She and Associate Justice Daniel Snow, a committed liberal and many years older than Loomis and with many years on the Supreme Court, clash intellectually on just about every judicial issue before them. One case involves a pornographic film and arguments about freedom of speech.
Another is a pending case brought by stockholders about the suppression of a possibly revolutionary new power source, a momentum engine, by a large corporation run by CEO Donald Richards, who hasn’t been seen in public for a decade.
With time, the two characters develop a liking and respect for each other. This happens as Snow recovers from a “heart episode” he suffered while he and Lommis were strongly debating the Richards’ case, after hours, in the court.
First Monday in October (1981)
Directed by: Ronald Neame
Starring: Walter Matthau, Jill Clayburgh, Barnard Hughes, Jan Sterling, James Stephens, Joshua Bryant, Wiley Harker, Charles Lampkin
Screenplay by: Jerome Lawrence
Production Design by: Philip M. Jefferies
Cinematography by: Fred J. Koenekamp
Film Editing by: Peter E. Berger
Costume Design by: Ruth Myers
Set Decoration by: Ernie Bishop, Robert De Vestel
Art Direction by: John V. Cartwright
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
Release Date: August 21, 1981