First Monday in October

First Monday in October

Director: Ronald Neame

Cast: Ronald Neame, Walter Matthau, Jill Clayburgh, Barnard Hughes

     
 

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The election of Sandra Day O'Connor to the Supreme Court rendered the premise of First Monday in October anachronistic before the picture was even released; ignoring this, however, the film is supremely entertaining (no pun intended). Jill Clayburgh stars as Ruth Loomis, the first lady justice ever appointed to the Court. She's a conservative, while her…  See more details below

Overview

The election of Sandra Day O'Connor to the Supreme Court rendered the premise of First Monday in October anachronistic before the picture was even released; ignoring this, however, the film is supremely entertaining (no pun intended). Jill Clayburgh stars as Ruth Loomis, the first lady justice ever appointed to the Court. She's a conservative, while her principal foe on the bench, Dan Snow (Walter Matthau), is an old-line liberal. The film glides along on a predictable Tracy-Hepburn course until Snow comes to Loomis' defense when her late industrialist husband is accused of improprieties which might compromise Loomis' effectiveness. First Monday in October was adapted by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee from their own Broadway play, which starred Henry Fonda. Actress Martha Scott co-produced the film, while several other Hollywood veterans, including Herb Vigran and Ann Doran, dot the supporting case.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
First Monday in October is often criticized as being dated because its "hook" -- that a woman has finally been appointed to the Supreme Court -- has been irrelevant for decades. What really makes the film dated, however, isn't its premise but its execution. Monday is a tired replay of the "battle of the sexes/opposites come together" genre that has been seen time and time again; setting it inside the Supreme Court does nothing more than provide for a few minor but not very interesting variations. The Lawrence and Lee screenplay is short on invention and long on very obvious calculation. The dialogue is professional and has a certain surface sheen to it, but there's no substance beneath it; after a while, it becomes manipulative and wearing. Ronald Neame's direction does little to help; it goes exactly where it's supposed to go in exactly the manner in which it is expected to go, although it takes its time getting there, and therefore adds no new dimension or surprises to the by-the-numbers script. First Monday in October does have two talented stars to help it over the bumpy parts, and they (fortunately) have a definite chemistry between them. Jill Clayburgh tries hard but cannot really do anything with her cardboard cut-out character, but Walter Matthau brings his usual lovable grumpiness to the character and makes him come to greater life than he has any right to.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/22/2013
UPC:
0883316885734
Original Release:
1981
Rating:
R
Source:
Paramount (Pmt)
Presentation:
[Full Frame]
Time:
1:38:00
Sales rank:
6,198

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Walter Matthau Dan Snow
Jill Clayburgh Ruth Loomis
Barnard Hughes Chief Justice Crawford
Jan Sterling Christine Snow
James Stephens Mason Woods
Joshua Bryant Bill Russell
Wiley Harker Justice Harold Webb
F.J. O'Neil Justice Waldo Thompson
Charles Lampkin Justice Josiah Clewes
Lew Palter Justice Benjamin Halperin
Richard McMurray Justice Richard Carey
Herb Vigran Justice Ambrose Quincy
Arthur Adams Actor
Edwin M. Adams Clergyman
Nick Angotti Plaintiff's Attorney
James Brodhead Court Marshal
Jordan Charney Doctor
William Clark Actor
Bebe Drake-Massey Nurse
Olive Dunbar Ms. Radabaugh
Sig Frohlich Custodian
Hugh Gillin Southern Senator
David Graham Actor
Dudley Knight Assistant Manager
Stanley Lawrence Court Guard
Richard McKenzie Hostile Senator
Mary Munday Head Nurse
Bob Sherman Actor
Wendy E. Taylor Cab Driver
Joe Terry Actor
Jim Vanko Chief Ranger
Noble Willingham Nebraska Attorney
Dick Winslow Barber
Ray Colbert Senator
Dale E. House Pilot
Dallas Alinder Norman
Ann Doran Storekeeper
Edmund Stoiber Committee Chairman

Technical Credits
Ronald Neame Director
Peter E. Berger Editor
Ernie Bishop Set Decoration/Design
John V. Cartwright Art Director
Robert de Vestel Set Decoration/Design
Beverli Eagan Set Decoration/Design
Ian Fraser Score Composer
Paul Heller Producer
Geoff Hubbard Set Decoration/Design
Philip M. Jefferies Production Designer
Fred Koenekamp Cinematographer
Jerome Lawrence Screenwriter
Robert E. Lee Screenwriter
Thomas Lofaro Asst. Director
Charles Matthau Associate Producer
Ruth Myers Costumes/Costume Designer
Martha Scott Producer
Keith A. Wester Sound/Sound Designer

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