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Running Time:
1 hour, 31 minutes

Rating: PG-13 Parents Strongly Cautioned.

Rating Explanation:
for language including sexual references, and mature thematic elements.

Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review:
With nothing more than talking heads, archival footage and some fresh interviews this astonishing documentary tale of a passion that spanned half a century is totally compelling.

Additional Info:
DVD Features:

Commentary with director Don Klores and Burt & Linda Pugach; But's passioin letters to Linda; Deleted scenes; Linda's art gallery

Crazy Love
In 1959 in the Bronx, 22-year-old Linda Riss dumped her fatally-attracted boyfriend Burt Pugach, a fast-living lawyer ten years her senior, after finding out he was secretly married and unable to divorce his frumpy wife. Linda soon got engaged to another guy, which infuriated Burt, sending him over the edge. Burt decided if he couldn't have Linda nobody would, so he hired three thugs to destroy her. They ambushed Linda and threw a jar full of lye in her beautiful face. Linda became disfigured and, despite many operations, was left virtually blind, which also caused her to loose her fiancé. Burt was sentenced to 30 years in prison, while Linda was left to live a miserable life alone.

What follows those headline-making events of almost fifty years ago is so bizarre that if Dan Klores had not been fortunate enough to get each of them to share their stories, you'd never believe it. Burt, now 80, and Linda, 70, are a pair of oddly charismatic characters who hold back little, both factually and emotionally. Linda, her damaged eyes hidden by gaudy sunglasses and constant cigarette, tells it like it was, without a trace of self-pity and an amazing amount of earthy spirit. As for Burt, to look at him now you'd never think he was such a romantic lothario, but he sure had his share of conquests along the way, which he discusses with unapologetic candor. When Linda and Burt are briefly interviewed together, they're like any typical long-married couple. In fact, if you don't look too closely, they actually seem kind of normal. That's one of the documentary's greatest achievements; it makes you understand, if not necessarily condone, Burt and Linda's warped dynamic.

Also in this astonishing documentary are numerous interviews with an array of old friends, family members, and other associates of both Burt and Linda. They are as amusing for what they have to say about the couple's insane history as they are for their blunt, New Yawk-accented deliveries. Even New York columnist Jimmy Breslin has a few inimitable comments to add to the mix. In addition, Klores makes vivid use of a wide variety of photos, headlines, TV news reports, along with some well staged re-enactments. The soundtrack is peppered with an appropriate array of period recordings such as "Linda," "You've Really Got a Hold On Me," and "Burning Love," that add to the film's time capsule feel. There's little doubt that Hollywood will eventually make feature length version of this shocking, yet weirdly compelling story. You might find it hard to believe, but it's all true which is what makes it totally fascinating.

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