There are plenty of lists of highly regarded films that need to be given an upgrade and a fresh release on DVD or Bluray. The much bigger category, of course, are films that were issued decades ago on VHS (or were never released at all), and need to make their DVD or digital download debut. I’ve been clamoring for years for the release of DVDs (at the very least) of David JonesBetrayal, Frank Perry‘s Play It As It Lays and John Flynn‘s The Outfit, as HE regulars well know.

I scanned through this Pauline Kael capsule review site for some titles that would be at least somewhat diverting to have on DVD or Bluray or both. What I came up with, mostly, was mediocre but watchable junk. Some have cloudy reputations, some were directed by “made” guys, some had good casts, a few starred Sandy Dennis and others are just oddball failures and half-and-halfers from the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s and ’80s.

But older junk has an intrigue that newer junk lacks. Second-tier diversions ain’t what they used to be. 21st Century blow-chunk levels are appalling. Now you get nervy throw-away crap from guys like Jody Hill with their baseball caps and seven-day beard growths and fat asses. Back then crap seemed…I don’t know, tidier or something. A bit more layered and better prepared. Sometimes you got an awkward fumble or flat-out failure from the likes of Robert Mulligan, Mark Rydell, Paul Mazursky, etc. And if you were stuck with a major stinker, there was at least a nude scene or some gratuitous sex thrown in. It was the fashion back then.

I’ve listed about eleven titles for starters. I might not want to own these films, but I’d definitely rent them. Some of them are better than crap-level but they’ve faded from circulation out of boredom or irrelevance. There are hundreds more that make the grade in this sense. I might even run a Part Two tomorrow.

Alex in Wonderland (1969) — director: Paul Mazursky. Cast: Donald Sutherland, Ellen Burstyn, Michael Lerner, Mazursky.

The Actress (1953) — director: George Cukor. Cast: Jean Simmons, Spencer Tracy, Teresa Wright, Anthony Perkins (making his debut), Jackie Coogan.

The Legend of Lylah Clare (1968) — director: Robert Aldrich. Cast: Peter Finch, Kim Novak, Ernest Borgnine.

In The Cool of the Day (1963) — director: Robert Stevens. Cast: Jane Fonda, Peter Finch, Arthur Hill.

That Cold Day in the Park (1969) — director: Robert Altman. Cast: Sandy Dennis, Michael Burns, Susanne Benton, David Garfield, Luana Anders, Michael Murphy.

Up The Down Staircase (1967) — director: Robert Mulligan. Cast: Sandy Dennis, Patrick Bedford, Eileen Heckart, Ruth White, Jean Stapleton.

The Fox (1967) — director: Mark Rydell. Cast: Anne Heywood, Sandy Dennis, Keir Dullea.

Thumb Trippin’ (1972) — director: Quentin Masters.

Midas Run (1969) — director: Alf Kjellin. Cast: Anne Heywood, Richard Crenna, Fred Astaire, Ceasar Romero.

The legendary At Long Last Love (1973) — director: Peter Bogdanovich. Cast: Burt Reynolds, Cybill Shepherd, Madeline Kahn, Duilio Del Prete, Eileen Brennan.

Brewster Mccloud (1972) — dierctor: Robert Altman. Cast: Bud Cort, Sally Kellerman, Michael Murphy, William Windom, Shelley Duvall, Rene Auberjonois, Stacy Keach.