Playhouse 90 (1956–1961)
6 user

Forbidden Area 

Why are so many B-99 bombers from Hibiscus Air Base crashing or simply disappearing? Colonel Price comes up with a terrifying explanation, but will anyone believe him?


John Frankenheimer


Pat Frank (novel), Rod Serling (adaptation)




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Charlton Heston ... Col. Jesse Price
Tab Hunter ... Stanley Smith
Diana Lynn ... Catherine Hume
Vincent Price ... Clark Simmons
Victor Jory ... Rear Admiral Batt
Charles Bickford ... Gen. Keaton
Jackie Coogan ... The Cook
Tyler McVey Tyler McVey ... Brig. Gen. Cragey
David Lewis ... Felix Fromberg
John Gallaudet ... Gen. Cummings
Eddie Ryder Eddie Ryder ... Joe
Harold Dyrenforth Harold Dyrenforth ... Capt. Schiller
Howard Price Howard Price ... Clint
Richard Gaines ... Admiral
Tom Palmer Tom Palmer ... Senator (as Thomas Palmer)


Why are so many B-99 bombers from Hibiscus Air Base crashing or simply disappearing? Colonel Price comes up with a terrifying explanation, but will anyone believe him?

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

4 October 1956 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Standing in for the B-99s were Boeing B-52 Stratofortresses, in service to the US Air Force since 1955 and are expected to remain in service into the 2050s. See more »


Tab Hunter's character is referred to throughout the show as Sergeant Smith. In 1956 a U.S. Air Force member wearing three stripes would have been an Airman First Class. The rank of Sergeant, with three stripes, was not used by the Air Force between 1952 and 1967. Although, this apparent inaccuracy could have been intentional by the producers to create an atmosphere of uncertainty as the drama is set in an unspecified time in the future. See more »


Featured in Tab Hunter Confidential (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

This is a very, very important episode of a great TV series....
4 October 2015 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

"Playhouse 90" is one of the best TV shows ever to air. Think about it. Each week, a 90 minute live teleplay was broadcast. And, in most cases, it featured the best writers and directors of the day as well as many very famous actors. In fact, the quality of these productions often was better than the stuff coming out of Hollywood in the day. In the case of "Forbidden Area", you have the very first episode of the series and it features John Frankenheimer (who turned out to be perhaps the greatest American director of the 1960s), the teleplay adapted by Rod Serling AND a strong cast of top actors---Charlton Heston, Tab Hunter, Diana Lynn, Vincent Price, Victor Jory and Charles Bickford!! Talk about a great beginning!!

It IS interesting that John Frankenheimer directs this show. After all, his amazing film "The Manchurian Candidate" (the original, not the unnecessary remake) is a brilliant film about folks being indoctrinated to look and act like 'normal' folks but which are in fact deep moles for the Communists who are infiltrating our system. In this case, bombers are disappearing and early on the audience sees that the Russians have created a perfect mole (Hunter)--a guy who seems 100% American but who is covertly working to destroy America. It's also a good look at the psyche of America at the time--and clearly reflects the Cold War thinking and worries. It might seem awfully paranoid the time, it was a reasonable concern.

What you'll see is a very gritty and exciting drama--one that keeps everyone guessing not only WHO is destroying these planes BUT how! All in all, a very good show--but one which might bother a few due to its paranoid message which is not fashionable any more. Excellent acting, taut direction and a nice script.

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