The lovely and talented Mrs. Azgreenday is always showing us old black and white movies, no doubt hoping that we’ll take a cue from the leading men and be more romantic.

She’ll have to let us know how that’s working out for her.

In any case, she thought we might appreciate the Jimmy Stewart classic “You Can’t Take It With You,” which, oddly enough won the best picture Oscar for 1938.

We say oddly enough because it was up against ‘Wee Wee Monsieur,” the immortal Three Stooges classic where they join the French Foreign Legion, and “Healthy, Wealthy and Dumb, ” the first Stooges film to use the classic collapsing bunk beds gag.

How those were overlooked by the Academy Philistines is nothing short of scandalous, but we digress.

In the movie, Jimmy sits  in the moonlight with Jean Arthur, trying to get her to show him her tattoos when all of the sudden he starts rhapsodizing about his dream of harnessing the sun’s energy:

“There’s a tiny little engine in the green of this grass and the green of the trees that has the mysterious gift of being able to take energy from the rays of the sun and store it up,” he says.  “If we could find the secret of all those millions of little engines in the green stuff, we could make big ones and then we could take all the power we could ever need right from the sun’s rays.”

We fell asleep before we could find out whether Jean fell for such a lame-o rap, but still it was kind of cool to hear people talking about solar in 1938.

We did some poking around and found out that Capra was actually a little late to the game. None  other than Thomas Edison, the guy they named all the electric companies for,  spent a lot of time finding alternative energy sources for that first bulb, including wind power.

As early as 1912 he spoke about the need to find alternatives to fossil fuels, and in a famous conversation with Henry Ford in 1931, he said solar was the technology of the future.

“I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy, he said. “What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.”

Unfortunately we’re still waiting. Let’s just hope it didn’t take Jimmy as long to get to see Jean Arthur’s tramp stamp. Or that it doesn’t take as long for Mrs. Azgreenday to find romance.

— John D’Anna