The tale of Burt Pugach and Linda Riss isn’t your run-of-the-mill storybook romance, but it sure makes for one helluva story. “Crazy Love,” a documentary that chronicles their tumultuous relationship, takes a decidedly no-frills approach to its subject “ relying on talking-head interviews and archival footage “ but the tale is riveting enough without the addition of artistic embellishment.
In the late Fifties, Burt was a successful New York lawyer when he struck up a romance with Linda, a 21-year-old beauty from the Bronx. Burt’s wealth impressed her; less impressive was his being married and a father. When Linda broke off the affair, Burt pleaded and pleaded for her to return until he finally chose a different strategy. He hired three goons to throw lye in her face, an attack that left Linda disfigured and blind.
“Crazy Love” would be lurid enough if that were the end of the story, but the dysfunctional love affair continued. One of the best documentaries in recent years, the film is a mesmerizing cautionary tale about obsession, co-dependence and the things people will settle for in an effort not to be alone.
The DVD includes deleted scenes and a commentary track with Burt, Linda and director Dan Klores.