Crazy Love

Institute History

  • 2007 Sundance Film Festival


This head-scratching, yet unforgettable, portrait is a true story of two inimitable New Yorkers—Burt Pugach and Linda Riss—that was played out in the headlines of the tabloids but resonates with lessons about love and relationships. At once romantic but very disturbing, Dan Klores's Crazy Love is a multifaceted exploration of the pathology of our emotional lives.

The beautiful Liz Taylor-like Linda first met the successful older attorney Burt in the late 1950s when she was 21, and he seemed to be the fulfillment of all her romantic dreams. But, when it became clear that he was not quite what he purported himself to be, the life they might have shared changed forever. Obsession, forgiveness, contrition, and cruelty are all the subject of Klores's exquisitely rich and reflective examination. Nothing could—or did—keep Burt away from Linda…friends, family, prisons, or publicity.

Crazy Love is a film at once frozen in time and eternally relevant, generational and perhaps intergenerational. It is a story about uncomfortable questions, about what we do not to be alone, and about hurting the one we love. Incorporating rare 16mm footage, a great soundtrack, and the commentary of soothsayers from New York cops to Jimmy Breslin, Crazy Love is about all of us.

— Geoffrey Gilmore

Screening Details

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