It Don’t Pay To Be An Honest Citizen, Jacob Burckhardt‘s 1985 movie with Reed Bye, Yoshiko Chuma, David Brisbin, Vincent D’Onofrio, and cameos by both Allen (“Sidney the lawyer”) and William Burroughs (“Paul, the neighborhood mafia don” [not included in the excerpt given here]), is a curiously-dated, rarely-seen, but priceless, “lost”, underground “Beat” treasure.
The plot revolves around (the charmingly-wooden) “Warren” (Reed Bye), a documentary film-maker, the titular “honest citizen”, (victim of a late-night mugging, with the resultant theft, not only of his money but, of his precious stolen film – He desperately needs to retrieve the footage of his (doubtless earth-shaking) documentary about pigeon-racing!)
“I’m a painless lawyer”, Allen (Sidney the Lawyer) declares. “Guarantee? Who can guarantee anything? The glories of our bludgeoned state are shadows not substantial things. There’s no armor against Fate. Death lays his icy hand on Kings. Sceptre and Crown must tumble down and in the grave be equal, made with the poor crooked scythe and spade, (and even rolls of film that are home-made, I’m afraid)”
Great to see Allen in an acting role (and in a dapper suit and tie!)
Burroughs (in his segment) is equally elegant too.
For more on It Don’t Pay To Be An Honest Citizen – see here