When Warner Bros. Discovery began enacting cuts across the staff of Turner Classic Movies, a trio of directors — Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, and Paul Thomas Anderson — went directly to company CEO David Zaslav to lobby on behalf of the network and its continued importance. Moving forward, the trio have become part of an advisory panel that will help curate and recommend programming on the beloved cable network. (Beloved by classic film lovers, anyway. Beloved by its corporate ownership ... maybe not.)

Spielberg’s first batch of recommendations came out this week, via Indiewire, which has exclusive video of Spielberg citing five different titles that are airing on TCM in September that he thinks subscribers should go out of their way to see.

Steven Spielberg
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READ MORE: Every Steven Spielberg Movie, Ranked From Worst to Best

Spielberg’s picks include...

Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)

This hugely popular musical of the 1940s features one of Judy Garland’s great performances and classic songs like “The Trolley Song.” Spielberg called it a “musical family movie for the whole family.”

Imitation of Life (1959)

Spielberg declared himself a huge fan of director Douglas Sirk, whose female-driven melodramas remain amongst the most critically acclaimed Hollywood productions of the 1950s. In Imitation of Life, Spielberg singled out the work of Lana Turner, Susan Kohner, and Juanita Moore in the lead roles.

Them! (1954)

This ’50s sci-fi imagines some unexpected fallout from the atomic testing of the era: Giant, irradiated ants. Spielberg chuckled even announcing the title, but he also called it “classy and smart.”

The Bad and the Beautiful (1952)

According to Spielberg, this is the best American film about the making of films. “Growing up in this business, I have known people like Jonathan Shields, played brilliantly by Kirk Douglas, who I would never want to work for, but who I could not wait to watch their next movie,” Spielberg added. This is the second of two films on Spielberg’s list directed by Vincente Minnelli.

The Wrong Man (1956)

Spielberg cited the famous story of a young Alfred Hitchcock being locked in a jail cell for a few minutes by cops (on orders from Hitchcock’s own father!) as the impetus behind this drama, based on a true story of a man accused and convicted of a crime he did not commit.

Spielberg, Scorsese, and Anderson are each expected to take turns recommending movies to watch on TCM at least through next summer. To see when all of Spielberg’s picks are airing on the channel, check their official channel guide.

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