In 1959, a 32-year-old lawyer named Burt Pugach met an attractive, 10 years younger woman, Linda Riss, on park bench in the Bronx. Their story, the stuff of tabloid headlines at the time, is told in the documentary Crazy Love by filmmaker Dan Klores. The inexperienced Linda was impressed by Burt’s outward signs of success, including his convertible, private plane and part ownership of a nightclub. Burt, who was obsessed with Linda’s dark beauty, treated her like a queen, but she broke up with him when she discovered that he was married. When Linda became engaged to another man, their story took a very dark turn.
The aptly titled documentary follows Burt and Linda’s story in chronological order, and if you haven’t heard about them or seen them on the talk shows, you might think that this is pretty standard boy meets girl stuff. But about half way through the film, the horror of their relationship is suddenly revealed. Their story as told by Klores is not only sensational tabloid fodder but also raises questions about the nature of love, obsession and revenge.