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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Episode complete credited cast:
Dr. Bill Stockton
Joseph Bernard ...
Marty Weiss
Jerry Harlowe
Grace Stockton
Frank Henderson
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
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Did You Know?


Sandy Kenyon's character mentions going over to Bennett Avenue to get a pipe for a battering ram. Bennett Avenue is where creator Rod Serling grew up as a child in New York. See more »


The shelter door was obviously plywood (when it finally broke, one could tell it was flimsy material). Even though it was supposed to be of a heavy substance, anything that could be opened with a battering ram would not withstand an atomic blast. See more »


Dr. Bill Stockton: [Grace drops a jug of water] Take it easy, take it easy, now make believe it's perfume, and it costs $100 an ounce, and in a few hours it'll probably be worth more.
See more »


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

The most frightening episode of The Twlight Zone?
10 March 2006 | by (Beverley Hills, England) – See all my reviews

This episode of The Twilight Zone is somewhat different to most of the rest; as instead of being a bizarre tale; it's based more on human morals, and is also something that could very easily happen. "The Shelter" follows a street, where only one person has a bomb shelter. After nuclear war is threatened; the street is thrown into disarray, as everyone wants a piece of the shelter. This story might not have as big an impact nowadays as it did when it was first aired in 1961. In the middle of the Cold War, the nuclear threat was very real; and knowing that the events of this show could be just round the corner must have been terrifying. The tale is very well written, and the exercise in morality is very well felt. Unlike the rest of The Twilight Zone, this story takes place in our world, and has a very realistic feel throughout. The final words on morality and civilisation sums it all up perfectly, and while it might not be what you'd expect from The Twilight Zone, this is still an ingenious little tale and it still makes you think. Another episode that comes highly recommended!

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