WARNING THIS PRODUCT IS DEFECTIVE / THE FILMS DO NOT PLAY PROPERLY/ THERE ARE MANY LETTERS ON THE AMERICAN SITE/ WHY HAVE THEY NOT ALL BEEN RECALLED/ I THOUGHT BY NOW IT WOULD BE SAFE TO PURCHASE ONE / I GUESS THEY SENT THE DEFECTIVE ONES TO CANADA TO PLACE ON SALE
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168 of 172 people found the following review helpful
Great transfers, but MGM should recall the setOct. 29 2008
- Published on Amazon.com
This is a fantasic set, featuring some of the best transfers I've seen and some great new extras... however, it's becoming clear that MGM needs to recall this set a.s.a.p. In the set I bought, three of the discs refuse to play completely in my standalone DVD player, and the other jitter and jump occasionally.
I run the Alfred Hitchcock Wiki site and I've received dozens of emails and messages from people who've bought the set and are unable to play one or more of the discs. Clearly whoever handled the physical manufacturing of the DVDs has foobar'd big time.
Ideally I'd have given this set 5 stars but, under the cirmcustances, I've got to say "buyer beware" and that you should wait for MGM to recall the set.
78 of 80 people found the following review helpful
I love it, but there are problems!Oct. 15 2008
- Published on Amazon.com
I received my collection last night and what a treat!
I love the casing. I think the plastic case is durable and great. The spiral notebook feature could not be nicer.
However, I too had problems getting the discs out without scratching them. And I watched Notorious last night ... well at least I tried to. About an hour into the film the most unbearable stops, starts, pixels, lack of sound all started destroying the movie!
Right when Dev and Alicia get out of the wine cellar and are in the garden devising a way to get out of the situation, the picture becomes distorted. After a while it returns to normal, only to start up again! Whole scenes are skipped until the final scene.
The disc is defective and Rebecca looks as though it is too : ((.
A replacement should already be on the way (thank you Amazon!), but I warn you to check the discs carefully right away.
Hitchcock and the movies are amazing nonetheless.
Even after replacements, still the same problems! Notorious is unplayable from certain scenes in the scene selection option on the menu. I have watched every other DVD in the collection and although there were some slight distortions, nothing as bad as Notorious.
I am so disappointed in this product.
***Update for the Update*** I have finally received a quality product. It took a very long time, and many attempts to get it. I think Amazon has discovered the bad batch and removed them from their stock. Thank goodness too, right in time for the holidays!
63 of 67 people found the following review helpful
One million stars for the quality of the films. Zero stars for the packaging. That averages out to two stars.Aug. 21 2008
Alex B. Parrish
- Published on Amazon.com
The quality of Hitchcock's movies is, I think, no longer in dispute. These are some of his best, and they're worth owning without question. This review will focus completely on the 8-disc set itself, the transfers, and the packaging.
I'll start with the packaging: it sucks. Big time. How manufacturers continue to produce these expensive sets and package the DVDs in cardboard sleeves is BEYOND me. I opened the set, saw the cardboard sleeves, and quickly removed the discs from the sleeves and put them in a slim case for shelving. As careful as I was... and I was VERY careful... I still ended up scratching the discs a little. I popped the discs in to check to see if, slight as the scratches were, they affected playback... and they seem to play fine. Still, I have a set that's 2 hours in my possession, and the discs are scuffed... and that bothers me.
They made an effort at cool packaging which caused this... the discs come in a very cool spiral-bound book that has a few pages on each movie, and then you flip to where the disc sets. I admire the design, I even like the book, but it would have been better served if the movies were OUTSIDE it. In cases, maybe? Anyway.
The transfers seem very, very good. Given a lot of these movies are probably from significantly degraded transfers, I have to applaud the restoration efforts. I've watched The Paradine Case and am now watching Young and Innocent... Paradine was practically spotless, Young and Innocent looks the same. Audio is crisp, noise and film scratches are gone. I'm impressed... this set will make a dandy replacement for the Criterion set featuring Notorious, Spellbound and Rebecca, assuming the same standards hold throughout the set.
All in all, I'd have still bought the set, it's the only way to get a lot of these movies, and the quality is good. I really wish I'd been in the marketing meeting when they decided on the blasted cardboard sleeves, but what can ya do, ya know?
29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Great transfers, Wonderful films, Defective discsJan. 6 2009
Michael A. Jensen
- Published on Amazon.com
I bought this set back in October and ran into the same quality problem so many others have experienced. However all eight discs played fine on my Toshiba HD-A35, albeit some were a bit noisy. (Rebecca being the worst) Since they did play, I did not return them fearing I would get a set that was worse. I recently set up my old Liteon region free player to take the workload off of the Toshiba, as the vast majority of my viewing is in SD. I have been watching the reviews here and decided to take another look at these discs on my Liteon player. The vibration was tremendous on Rebecca and it refused to play. Notorious was almost as bad as it would spin up freeze, spin down and back up again, freeze again, stop, start, etc. About 4 of the 8 discs have no problems; the others do with varying degrees. My curiosity was up, so I had to experiment. I was able to rip all eight to my hard drive with no problem. This is a good test of the data. I made a copy of the worst one, Rebecca, on a DVD+R DL disc and tried it out on the Liteon. It played perfectly, nice and quiet. This tells me there is no problem with the data on the disc. I know some have commented on the funny look of some of the discs, and think that it is due to de-lamination from warpage, and therefore gives read errors. Mine also look like that but I have seen this on other discs of mine that were packaged properly in standard cased. They have never given me a problem. The next step was to open up my Liteon and see just what was going on. I put Rebecca on the spindle with the magnetic clamp on top and slowly spun the disc. With an eye loupe I could see no indication of warpage, but did notice that the two layers of Polycarbonate that sandwich together to make the disc were not exactly lined up. There was a bit of adhesive on the edges also that was not consistent. I did the same inspection with the DVD-R DL that I made, and the difference was amazing. The edge looked like a perfectly machined surface with the slightest hint of adhesive. The telltale test was actually starting up the disc to play. The vibration and out of round blur of the center of the spindle was tremendous. It was obvious that the disc was grossly out of balance. The disc has to spin faster when playing the beginning of the movie since that data is in the innermost part of the disc. DVDs play from the inside to the outside on the first layer, and from the outside back in for the second layer. The menus, studio logos, and FBI warnings are stored after the main movie, and end up about in the middle of the disc depending on move length. When I play Rebecca on my Toshiba, the noise doesn't start until the main movie starts, and as the movie progresses, the disc spin slower and the vibration slowly dissipates. The menu, logo, and FBI warning play silently. If the problem was warpage as some have speculated, the movie should play better at the beginning, and slowly get worse as the laser travels farther out, where the warpage would increase at the edge of the disc. To prove my theory, I took a piece of an Avery label with a couple of layers of copper foil for weight and attached it to Rebecca's topside. After testing in several spots I found the right place and Rebecca played just fine, with no noise or vibration, on my Liteon player! This is of course not a solution, but merely a demonstration of the actual problem with these discs. The discs are obviously defective. It is a sad state when I can go through hundreds of DVD+R's at about 25 cents each and never see a problem like this, and spend $10 or more, each, for a classic movie, and get the cheapest piece of junk, made by the lowest bidder that the studio could find.
P.S. Please don't lecture me on the legalities of the ripping and burning of this disc. As Doc Brown said in Back to the Future, "It's a science experiment". Besides I paid my money, and nowhere have I advocated or given instruction on how to circumvent any copy protection scheme.
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Defective DVD'sOct. 25 2008
- Published on Amazon.com
I've been ordering from Amazon since they started. This is the first product I've ever returned. The buzzing, humming and vibrating occurs on several of the DVD's. I've asked for a replacement, but based on the other reviews, it seems I'll eventually be looking for a refund. It's a shame as I've been wanting many of the movies in the set. I'll keep my fingers crossed, but I'm not hopeful about this set.
Addendum: I returned the Premiere Collection for a refund. I purchased the single copy versions of Rebecca, Spellbound and Notorious. Only Rebecca will not play in my DVD player. It plays without a problem in a friend's DVD player, so I will keep it for now. When I buy a new DVD player, I'll bring Rebecca along and try to find a player in which it will work. Alot of effort to simply watch one of my favorite movies, but well worth it.