James Poe
James Wilber Poe

(1921-10-04)October 4, 1921
DiedJanuary 24, 1980(1980-01-24) (aged 58)
(m. 1969; div. 1978)

James Wilber Poe (October 4, 1921 – January 24, 1980)[1] was an American film and television screenwriter. He is best known for his work on such films as Around the World in 80 Days (for which he jointly won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Summer and Smoke, Lilies of the Field, The Bedford Incident, and They Shoot Horses, Don't They?.

He also worked as a writer on the radio shows Escape and Suspense, writing the scripts for some of their best episodes, most notably "Three Skeleton Key", "Blood Bath" and "The Present Tense", all of which starred Vincent Price.

Poe was married to actress Barbara Steele from 1969 to 1978.


Poe began his career at March of Time. He moved to Hollywood in 1941. He wrote radio plays and documentaries before moving into feature films.[2]

He had to sue for credit on Around the World in 80 Days.[3]

In 1965 Poe signed a contract to direct films at Columbia but never directed.[4]

Select credits


  1. ^ "James Wilber Poe (1921-1980) - Find A Grave Memorial". Find a Grave.
  2. ^ Dunning, Jennifer (February 6, 1980). "James Poe, Co-Writer Of 'Around the World' Won Oscar in 1956: License for Characters". The New York Times. p. 34.
  3. ^ Pryor, Thomas M. (March 7, 1957). "STUDIO SIGNS PACT TO COVER WRITERS: Hecht-Hill-Lancaster Settles Dispute With Guild and Lifts Strike Threat Role for Gloria Grahame". The New York Times. p. 25.
  4. ^ Hopper, Hedda (January 6, 1965). "Looking at Hollywood: Writer James Poe Signs Director Pact". Chicago Tribune. p. b4.