First Monday in October

In which the rule is disproved that any film starring Walter Matthau can't be all bad. The date of the title marks the opening session of the US Supreme Court, when liberal Justice Snow (Matthau) discovers to his disgust that the first woman Justice is to be the dread conservative, Judge Loomis (Clayburgh). A half-heartedly serious script about integrity in high places is further degraded by Neame to a lifeless comedy about professional antagonism conquered by grudging affection. The pair confront each other in a series of private debates about matters judicial/ethical, which are about as intellectually bracing as Snow-White-meets-Grumpy. The scene where Matthau rises from the coronary unit to Right a Wrong, and marches into the Supreme Court hand-in-hand with the Widow Loomis, simply confirms that we're in fairyland Washington.

Release details

Duration: 99 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Ronald Neame
Screenwriter: Jerome Lawrence, Robert E Lee
Cast: Walter Matthau
Jill Clayburgh
Barnard Hughes
Jan Sterling
James Stephens
Joshua Bryant
Wiley Harker
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