After decades of treating the Supremes with kid gloves in film and TV, maybe it’s time to get down and dirty with these supervillains
When you think about it, Hollywood hasn’t made a whole lot of movies about the Supreme Court. In fact, there’s only one I can remember that actually ventured into the judges’ chambers and turned the Supremes into living, breathing characters. That’d be “First Monday in October,” a genial 1981 comedy in which Walter Matthau starred as a firebrand liberal justice who butts heads with a younger, staunchly conservative new appointee played by Jill Clayburgh.
One big plot twist in that movie was that a president had the temerity to put a woman on the bench — like that could ever happen — but the joke turned out to be on the filmmakers. Just one month after the picture’s premiere, Ronald Reagan went ahead and made Sandra Day O’Connor the first real-life female Supreme Court justice.