The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
17 user 2 critic

The Shelter 

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
... Man


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

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Release Date:

29 September 1961 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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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 »


There is a guy in an untucked white shirt helping to knock down the shelter door. You can see him near the door when the door is finally broken open, but then he disappears. See more »


Dr. Bill Stockton: You better get on home and get into your shelter... eh, your basement, and I'd board up the windows if I were you.
Jerry Harlowe: Bill, we don't have any cellar, remember? The advantages of modern architecture, we have the only modern house on the block. We get everything at your beck and call, everything at your fingertips, even got an electric launderer right off the back room. All the wonders of modern science taken into account except that thing that's heading here right now.
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Happy Birthday to You
Written by Mildred J. Hill and Patty S. Hill
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User Reviews

A wonderful parable--and one parodied on The Simpsons, believe it or not!
29 January 2008 | by See all my reviews

There is a surprise announcement that a nuclear attack is coming and at that point the citizens of a town are forced to deal with impending annihilation. However, amidst all this panic is the realization that one person in the community has a bomb shelter and people might be able to survive if only they can manage to get inside.

I guess I am a real cynic, as among my very favorite episodes of The Twilight Zone are those that expose how fundamentally screwed up people are--particularly when we are in groups. My favorite of these is probably THE MONSTERS ARE DUE ON MAPLE STREET, but this one is very close and very similar in its view of mankind at its worst.

By the way, this was parodied on an older episode of The Simpsons, in which Ned Flanders and his family are going to be the only residents of Springfield who will survive the impact of a meteorite and so, naturally, all his neighbors want inside as well.

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