Actor Glenn Taranto is one of the 20 guest programmers selected from TCM’s Ultimate Fan Video contest, and will be introducing “Went The Day Well?,” a film released in 1942 concerning the occupation of an English village by disguised German paratroopers planning a secret invasion. Directed by Alberto Cavalcanti and produced by Ealing Studios in Great Britain, Went The Day Well? is a premiere film on the Turner Classic Movies channel. Director Cavalcanti is also known for They Made Me A Fugitive(1947) with Trevor Howard and Affairs of a Rogue (1948) with Jean Pierre-Aumont. Taranto selected Went the Day Well? for his guest programming choice after critic Leonard Maltin personally recommended it to him at the 2011 Turner Classic Film Festival. Taranto believes in the power of the film because “60 years after the fact, it still relates to Flight 91 that went down in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, on 9/11.”
In an exclusive Examiner interview, Taranto revealed that it was “a whirlwind 48 hours in Atlanta. I arrived late Sunday, and went straight to the ‘W’ hotel, checked into my room, which had been generously provided by TCM, and then I had just enough time to change my clothes, freshen up, and head back to the lobby where all the other fan programmers were preparing to leave for a ‘meet and greet’ with TCM host Robert Osborne on the TCM set in Turner Studios.”
Taranto and some of his fans after a performance of The Donovan Affair at the Turner Classic Film Festival 2014 in The Egyptian…
Socializing on the set with Osborne and the other 19 guest programmers was energizing, and Taranto claims that “the excitement was palpable. I don’t think any of us could really believe we were going to be hosting a movie with Robert Osborne.” The ‘meet and greet’ also afforded the guest programmers to see the actual “big red chairs” that are employed when Osborne and his special celebrity hosts introduce classic films. Taranto was thrilled when he found out that each guest programmer would be photographed sitting in the famously iconic chairs
The photo on the wall in the background of the set that viewers often glimpse is actually an image of Colfax, Washington, Osborne’s hometown, according to Taranto. One of the fan programmers is Officer Byrd from Judge Judy’s court, whom Taranto claims “is a great guy. Byrd is nothing like he seems in the court room because he’s very friendly, likes to joke, and is always doing voices.”
Visiting with Osborne was also a memorable moment for Taranto who was also surprised at the lovely gifts presented to each programmer like a canvas bag that had an autographed copy of Robert Osborne’s latest book, 85 Years of the Oscar, a beautiful fleece blanket, a leather-bound journal, and a coffee mug all of which are embossed with the TCM logo.
Taranto was with the group whose first day included a tour of Atlanta and its environs, and he enjoyed visiting the Atlanta Aquarium, the Coca-Cola Museum, and the home where Margaret Mitchell lived when she wrote Gone With The Wind. All programmers were treated to a formal dinner at Olmsted with all the TCM staff.
Taranto’s presentation of Went The Day Well? will air on Wednesday, April 9, at midnight EST, and 9 p.m. PFT on Turner Classic Movies.