Like many Walter Matthau movies, First Monday in October isn’t particularly eighties in style, but more like a nice, cozy breeze from the past. Often typecast as the grumpy, stubborn character, Matthau does have plenty of that old world charm which he always manages to bring into his productions.
Same goes here; Matthau plays an uncompromising, liberal Associate Justice that finds himself in a verbal tug-of-war with the first female Associate Justice just appointed to the Supreme Court. The old men contra women workplace setup is a bit dated, but not at all something that wouldn’t resonate still today. The real highlight of the movie is the snappy, smartly written dialogue that Matthau and Clayburgh deliver in a delightful fashion as they go against each other, tooth and nail.
It’s also an interesting period piece from the time when landmark decisions on the adult video censorship were being made in the Supreme Court.