A Fallout Shelter Sign, Susan Oliver and a pensive David Jannsen, 1963
Robert W. Blakeley, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers employee responsible for the National Fallout Shelter Sign, had no idea in 1961 that he was giving birth to a movie star. But because the distinctive yellow and black emblem became a ubiquitous sight throughout the country in the 1960s, it is only natural that it would be captured on film either by accident or on purpose. The following are some of the more notable appearances in movies and television programs over the last half-century.
To read more about Mr. Blakeley and his contribution to Cold War iconography, check out this comprehensive history.
Robert Redford, Three Days of the Condor, 1975
Dustin Hoffman, John and Mary, 1969
Clint Eastwood (left), Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, 1974
Clint Eastwood, Coogan's Bluff, 1968
Charlton Heston, The Omega Man, 1971
James Coburn (right), The Carey Treatment, 1972
James Whitmore, The Invaders TV series, 1967
Roy Thinnes, The Invaders TV series, 1967
Susan Strasberg and two (!) Fallout Shelter Signs, The Invaders, TV series, 1967
Chris Eigeman (right), The Last Days of Disco, 1998
Nicolas Cage, Bringing Out the Dead, 1999
Leonardo DiCaprio, Revolutionary Road, 2008*
Eva Mendes and Joaquin Phoenix, We Own the Night, 2007
Sandra Bullock, Toby Jones, Infamous, 2006*
Jon Hamm, Mad Men, 2007*
Kevin Costner, Will Patton, No Way Out, 1987
Kevin Costner, Thirteen Days, 2000*
Kirk Douglas, Seven Days in May, 1964
The Day After, 1983
Kelsey Grammar, Cheers, TV series, 1985
Gene Wilder, The Producers, 1968
Mr. T, The A-Team, TV series, 1983
Theresa Russell, a Fallout Shelter Sign and Burt Reynolds, Physical Evidence, 1989
Will Smith, Hitch, 2005
Martin Milner, Kent McCord, Adam-12, TV series, 1968
Conrad Bain, Emergency Operation Centers (Civil Defense film), 1961
Brian Dennehy, First Blood (Rambo), 1982
Robert W. Blakeley, the Father of the Fallout Shelter Sign in 2009
Excerpt from October 12, 1961 government memo RE: the sign on file with the Judge Advocate General's Office
* Image descriptions marked with an asterisk indicate anachronistic or otherwise inaccurate depictions of the Fallout Shelter Sign.
1. Revolutionary Road takes place in 1959, two years before the first Fallout Shelter Signs were posted.
2. Infamous takes place in 1959, two years before the first Fallout Shelter Signs were posted.
3. Mad Men: This still comes from the first season which is set in 1960 - one year before the Fallout Shelter Sign.
4. Thirteen Days: The colors of the Fallout Shelter Sign are incorrect.
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