Remember the Twilight Zone episode about the backyard bunker? When suburban neighbors turned on each other in fear of an impending apocalypse? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Shelter_(The_Twilight_Zone) Or that other TZ ep where Charles Bronson and Elizabeth Montgomery regard each other with suspicion in a post-apocalyptic wasteland? Or what happened when the the Monsters were due on Maple Street? Not a lot of working together for the common good there. For better or for worse, the idea that the post-Bomb world would be a brutal, dog-eat-dog battle for survival is hardly a new one. These same issues were very much in the air back then . . . and with more reason. Like I said, I saw this movie plenty of times as a kid and took it at face value. The fifties and early sixties were not all "Leave to Beaver" and civics lessons. There was a lot of fear and paranoia . . . and legitimate worries about what would happen to the thin veneer of civilization when the bombs fell. "Panic in the Year Zero" was very much of its time.