Twilight Zone: Season 3, Episode 3

The Shelter (29 Sep. 1961)
"The Twilight Zone" The Shelter (original title)

TV Episode  -   -  Fantasy | Horror | Mystery
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Reviews: 11 user

A suburban dinner party is interrupted by a bulletin warning of an impending nuclear attack. As the neighbors scramble to prepare themselves, they turn against the one family that installed a permanent bomb shelter.



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Title: The Shelter (29 Sep 1961)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Larry Gates ...
Dr. Bill Stockton
Joseph Bernard ...
Marty Weiss
Jerry Harlowe
Grace Stockton
Sandy Kenyon ...
Frank Henderson
Michael Burns ...
Paul Stockton
Jo Helton ...
Martha Harlowe
Moria Turner ...
Mrs. Weiss
Mary Gregory ...
Mrs. Henderson
John McLiam ...


Dr. Bill Stockton has prepared well for any eventuality. He's built a bomb shelter for himself, his wife and his child. His neighbors on the other hand have done nothing to prepare. During a dinner party, there is an emergency announcement on the radio that unidentified objects have been sighted en route to the US and they may be under attack. As the Stockton's prepare to use their shelter their neighbors panic asking to be let into the shelter with them. Stockton refuses leading to an angry confrontation. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

29 September 1961 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


One of four episodes that, notably, contains no science fiction or fantasy elements. See more »


The large jug Bill carries is full of water, then empty. See more »


Marty Weiss: Bill, it's Marty, please let us in.
Dr. Bill Stockton: Marty, I would if I could, do you understand? I swear to you I would.
Marty Weiss: Bill, please, it's Marty.
Dr. Bill Stockton: Marty I can't, don't stand there asking me. I can't, I can't and I won't.
Marty Weiss: I feel sorry for you, Bill, I really do, you probably will survive but you'll have blood on your hands.
[pounds on the shelter door]
Dr. Bill Stockton: [to his wife and son] That was a million years ago...
See more »


Happy Birthday to You
Written by Mildred J. Hill and Patty S. Hill
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User Reviews

Simplistic Today: Probably Pretty Startling Back Then
18 October 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The "Twilight Zone" always made a point of putting people into situations and then seeing what made them tick. This is about a man who has taken the government's warning to heart and built a fallout shelter for his family with predictable results. The episode begins with a birthday party where there is a range of personalities, all joking, having a good time. There is also a refreshing ethnic mix. This must have been a bit daring for the time. Of course, when a real attack is suspected, all hell breaks loose and the "true" nature of people emerges. This is a nice companion piece to "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street." Desperation is what it's all about. It's a great example of how you can't put the toothpaste back in the tube. The denouement is strained and painful to watch, but it's probably pretty realistic. I recall that a man in my home town built a fallout shelter. I found out later that it is still there, being used as a storage shed. That "duck and cover" mentality seems almost amusing today, but I would be that some were envious of him in those days.

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