MGM “Alfred Hitchcock Premiere Collection” faulty DVDs?

It’s beginning to look like the new MGM “Alfred Hitchcock Premiere Collection” 8 DVD set might be a victim of poor quality DVD manufacturing.

The packaging, lovely though it is, is a poor design for keeping the DVDs in pristine condition — the rigid cardboard sleeves can easily scuff the playing surface of the DVDs….


Not only that, it would appear that the discs themselves suffer from poor construction and/or poor quality control. Quite a few of the comments on the product page at Amazon back this up. Although the set still has a high rating, most of the 5 star ratings were submitted prior to the actual release of the set.

Although I’m still working my way through the set, at least one of my discs (“Young and Innocent”) refuses to play the second layer in my standalone DVD player. I’ve got hundreds of DVDs in my collection, and this is the first one that I’ve not been able to play. To my eye, it looks like there’s a problem with the bonding of the individual layers of the DVD.

Transfer wise, the set is excellent, so it’s a huge shame that MGM appear to have cut corners with the quality of the discs themselves. The number of comments about the set on various DVD messageboards would seem to warrant a product recall.

If you are planning to purchase the set, it might be wise to check with the vendor that they will be happy to replace individual faulty discs, otherwise you may have to return the entire set for a replacement. As the DVD packaging is heavy, that could be quite expensive.

If you have purchased the set, please leave a comment to say if you’ve experienced any problems playing the discs.

22 Responses to MGM “Alfred Hitchcock Premiere Collection” faulty DVDs?

  1. I received the set a couple of days ago, not at all happy. Rebecca, Young and Innocent and The Lodger froze on my multi region DVD player (and our other MR DVD player). Rebecca continually stopped and started throughout the beginning and then froze completely. I agree that the packaging (though unique and interesting) does not secure the discs perfectly. I’m thinking about waiting untill a possible recall before I venture to get another one.

  2. Dave, I have a similar problem with Young & Innocent: when I get to the layer change the player skips ahead several chapters. I can scan backwards from that point, but only so far. I can’t get all the way back to the layer change in the reverse direction.

    I have not had any problem with any of the other discs.

  3. I’ve had three collections over the past week, having exchanged twice because “The Lodger” and “Sabotage” were both freezing on multiple DVD players. (These are the only two discs I’ve checked out so far.) The clear plastic base of the slipcase was also cracked/broken on two of the three.

  4. Gary over at DVD Beaver is now saying there needs to be a product recall.

  5. My copy of The Lodger would not play on both my all region dvd player and my blu-ray player. It made plenty of noise and was rejected by both players. Just for the heck of it, I placed it in my old hd-dvd player and it played fine. I can confirm DVDBEAVER is also asking for a recall. Hopefully we will hear from MGM about this soon.

  6. A comment linked to from DVD Beaver is putting the blame on the packaging for warping the discs. That would certainly explain the loud noises and rattling some people are hearing when the play the DVDs, as that would imply that the discs are either warped or unbalanced.

  7. All the major DVD manufacturers have had a decade now to figure out what is and is not reliable packaging for DVD sets. There are no excuses any longer. I’m holding out until there is an official recall of the faulty discs or they reissue it with better packaging, or both.

  8. Four of the discs in the set I received cause my Sony DVD player to vibrate very loudly at startup and into the playing of the actual films themselves. I received a replacement set from Amazon (very promptly, I might add) but the replacement set exhibits the same problems. Luckily, I have had no problems with the discs not playing or with the picture freezing or breaking up. The transfers are excellent, but, for such a high price, the lack of quality control is inexcusable, especially for a set as anticipated as this. I now hear that all discs in the set will be available individually in January. MGM definitely should consider a recall-replacement program for this set – the problems with the set are definitely not isolated ones.

  9. i’ve just finished watching the last of the dvds; most of the suspense came not from the movies, alas, but from waiting when a dvd would freeze, skip or whatever. glad to report that not a single disc had any problems at all, despite the set having been shipped to europe. in fact, it’s a very beautiful collection & the films are immaculately restored (“paradine case” looks especially good). the only complaint i have is that richard schickel’s commentary on “rebecca” is very dull; he seems not to have seen the movie for ages & only states very obvious things apart from a few pieces of information randomly selected from his indubitably vast storage of trivia. it’s infinitely weaker than the audio commentary on the criterion-“rebecca”. everything else is great & i hope the collection will be republished soon for those not as lucky as i.

  10. I’m waiting for a refund from Amazon for my second defective set. When that arrives, I’ll try purchasing the individual discs. Has anyone with troubles with the set tried the individually-packed discs? So far Rebecca, Notorious and Spellbound have been issued.

  11. I believe the rest of the films are being released individually next year. The single discs come in a standard DVD case, so they shouldn’t have been damaged by poor packaging.

  12. Yes, I purchased the Rebecca individual release and the disc is giving me the same problems that everyone else is experiencing, so these bad boxset discs cannot be avoided by getting the individual releases. They are both defective.

  13. i sent an email to Fox to see if they were going to fix the discs (I have not bought this yet, so i figured potential future sales might be more influential at this point than money they had already received.) their response, if half-hearted, provides a thin ray of hope:

    “At this time our corporate office is aware of this issue they will be looking into the matter in regards this set. We do not have a time or date when this issue will be resolved. You may check back in the near future for any further information on this box set.”

    not much, but at least they acknowledge the issue.

    Thank you,

    Fox Consumer

  14. I had this set on pre-order from amazon and received it when released. All discs played fine on my HD-DVD player although some where noisey. Recently I started using my old Liteon player and found that about half would not play correctly. After experimenting I found the bad discs to be out of balance, due probably to the two plastic layers not lined up properly when bonded. I was actually able to get the worst one (Rebecca) to play fine with some copper foil pieces stuck to the top of the disc in the right spot, much as you would balance the tires on your car. I saw no sign of warpage. See my review of this set at for more info.

  15. I first received this set at christmas and was very excited by the cool layout. The plastic case cracked the first day and i returned it. The second case arrived with a corner missing. London Fog was vibrating loudly in the dvd player and would not play smoothly. Lifeboat only froze once, but Notorious would not play on one dvd unit at all and freezes constantly on my other one. I am very disappointed and will be returning the set.


  17. I like many of you have purchased this boxed set, returned it to my store of purchase, and received a replacement that was just as defective. I looked up the website on the bottom of the box which is and called the phone number on their website. That number is 1-888-223-2369. A customer service rep took my call and said I was the first person who had ever complained about any problems with this boxed set(LIE!) and that it was probably my player. I advised her that many of you out there have complained but haven’t been taken seriously. I was told that since none of you out there are returning your sets to them to investigate that they aren’t aware of any problem. I was then given instructions on where to send this boxed set to.

    I get tired of greedy, irresponsible, coroporations who don’t even care about the customers they supposedly appreciate. Furthermore as a taxpayer I’m tired of these companies then expecting you and I to bail them out when things get bad. I think it is high time for us to make some noise. If your with me this is what you need to do.

    1. Write a letter of complaint expressing your disappointment with this boxed set and any negative experiences you’ve had as a result of buying this product.

    2. Send this letter, a copy of your receipt, and the defective product to the address below.

    Fox Consumer (This is the address I was given to return the DVD set)
    Attn: Davide
    20102 S Vermont Ave.
    Torrance, CA 90502

    3.***THIS IS IMPORTANT – Send copies of this letter or e-mail them to the State Attorney General of California, 20th Century Fox Headquarters, and the corporate offices of the store you purchased this boxed set from. I have provided some addresses below.

    Attorney General’s Office (The State of CA’s GA is Edmund G. Brown Jr)
    California Department of Justice
    Attn: Public Inquiry Unit
    P.O. Box 944255
    Sacramento, CA 94244-2550 (web address)

    Fox Entertainment (This is the Fox World Headquarters)
    10201 W. Pico Blvd., Bldg. 100, Ste. 3220
    Los Angeles, CA 90035

    4. When you send back the boxed set insure it and talk to your postal service about making sure somebody has to sign for it when they receive it. Also be sure you will be notified of when it was received and who signed for it.

    I know this requires a lot of work for all of us but we have to stand up for ourselves sometime. The truth is threats about the better business bureau don’t work but a possible investigation by the state Attorney General is something most companies like to avoid. I thank each of you for your individual help and participation in making right a wrong.

    In closing I would like to say I am not an attorney so if you have questions about this advice please consult a private attorney before proceeding as suggested.

    Thank you and good luck!

  18. I received my set factory sealed from a seller from canada..and when i see this reviews i went to check the discs and the only one that have problems is Notorious in the last 25 minutes of the movie…so i guess im lucky since i only get one disc with problems :S

  19. I echo the above comments….Freezing, jumping, very loud noise when I inserted Spellbound into my recorder/player. I have a friend who also purchased this set and has the same problems….Purchased at Costco and will be returning for a refund….

  20. Like most of the buyers at Amazon I’ve had nothing but trouble with this set. I sent back three copies and finally settled for a refund even though I wanted this set to be right. The last individual with whom I spoke at Amazon said they plan to pull the set from the site–I hope this will push the manufacturer to fix the problem and rerelease it. As long as they keep selling them and we keep buying them nothing will get fixed. My recommendation: WAIT!!!

    One other option: All the DVDs in the set are available for individual purchase in traditional spindle DVD cases (Actually Lifeboat is not available individually as a “Premier Collection” release but is available as a “Special Edition” release). I bought one just to see if it was an improvement over the box set release. I am happy to report that the disc from the individual set is clean and plays fine. So you could buy a set of individual discs in lieu of the box set. I like the box-set because it has a nice collectible booklet so I will probably wait for a re-release rather than buy the discs individually.

  21. I bought this DVD set about a year ago and immediately had severe vibration noise problems on the Sony DVP-CX995V 400 disc changer, but when I attempted to return the DVD set to Fry’s (where I had also earlier bought the changer), they were able to play the DVDs without problems in a couple of other DVD players, so they blamed the changer (as did I). Then, a week ago I replaced the changer with the Sony BDP-CX960: same problem (but not as severe). “Lifeboat” played fine, but it’s the only one in the set from Fox.

  22. I’ve just received a replacement disc for ‘Notorious’ from Fox, by mail. Great customer service!


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