15 May 2007

I may actually leave my house for this

Crazy Love: Filmmaker Dan Klores recounts the true story of one of the most bizarre romances of the 20th Century in this documentary.

In 1957, Linda Riss was a receptionist in her early twenties who bore a striking resemblance to Elizabeth Taylor, while attorney Burt Pugach was married and in his mid-thirties.

That didn't stop Pugach from falling in love with Riss on first sight when he saw her walking past her home in the Bronx, and he quickly asked her out on a date. Riss accepted, and continued to see Pugach even after she discovered he had a wife.

However, after a year of wining and dining, Riss broke off the affair, convinced that Pugach would never divorce, but continue to string her along. Pugach desperately tried to convince Riss to give him a second chance and began stalking her, but when that failed and he learned she had decided to wed someone else, he told her, "If I can't have you, no one else will have you, and when I get through with you, no one else will want you."

Pugach's statement was no idle threat -- a thug hired by Pugach threw lye into Riss's face in order to scar her for life, and ended up blinding her in one eye. The crime earned Pugach a fifteen-to-thirty year prison sentence, but less than a year after he was released on parole, a peculiar thing happened -- Linda Riss and Burt Pugach got married.

Crazy Love shares the details of this very strange love affair, and how this extremely unlikely couple has stayed together for thirty years.

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