21 June 2019 | boblipton
Alison Skipworth Crosses America On Her Thumb
Alison Skipworth is near the end of her rope in her small Sussex village, when she receives a hundred pounds. SHe decides to go to California, where she believes her son is an orange rancher. In reality, he is a prisoner in San Quentin. Arriving in America, she finds out that California is still 3000 miles away, and she is skint. She winds up hitch-hiking with Mae Clarke, but soon they are traveling in James Ellison's car-trailer, with the unwelcome (to Mr. Ellison) addition of small-time con men Arthur Treacher and Warren Hymer. As she gets closer to California and the truth, her companions worry about her.
Mrs. Skipworth is the sentimental still center of this comedy. While it is certainly not up to the standards of her Paramount movies, where she often battled W.C. Fields to a draw, she's quite believable as her simple and soft-hearted character.
Contrary to her appearance in her 1930s movies, Mrs. Skipworth was in her youth a beauty who often worked as an artist's model; that is how she met her husband, Frank Skipworth. Her stage debut was at the age of 31. She soon moved to America, where she honed her comedic skills in a series of flops. By the time she moved to Hollywood, she was quite the battleaxe. She made her last screen appearance in 1938, her last stage appearance in 1942, and died in 1952, aged 88.