To simplify things, I will only briefly discuss the long-acknowledged epicenter of redneck cinema, to wit: Smokey and the Bandit.
One would imagine that this picture positions itself squarely in the camp of the German proto-Romantic resistance to eighteenth-century classicism with all of its rational trappings. After all, the film is about flagrantly rebellious disregard for law and order, beginning with its main plot problem: how to transport a truckload of Coors beer to Atlanta when it is illegal do any such thing east of Oklahoma. During this harrowing journey, practically every law enforcement officer in every state is ignored, abused, accosted, wrecked, or disgraced. Our heroes — Bandit, Frog (Sally Field), Cledus (Jerry Reed), and Cledus’s dog Fred — break every imaginable law in order to fulfill their mission.
Yet I would submit that the heroes never truly aggravate the dominant class ideology of reason and mistrust of enthusiasm. Examples abound of their cool heads in the face of certain capture or death, their stiff upper lips as set against the wild outbursts and flailings of their antagonists (epitomized by Jackie Gleason’s Buford T. Justice), and their refusal to engage in activities requiring excessive energy or volume. They are the very image of eighteenth-century restraint, bringing reason to bear on every situation and repudiating every temptation to give in to easy emotion or passion.
In truth, Smokey and the Bandit is a cinematic realization of Wordsworth’s charge to poets in his famous preface to Lyrical Ballads: art should be policed by restraint and the rational; moreover, the best poetry is both prosaic and disciplined, subsuming emotion under the influence of our better faculty.
Therefore, go to, ye misunderstanders. Say not that Burt flies in the face of rational imperatives (or even Larry the Cable Guy). Learn from what is set before you. See what is as plain as the nose on your face. Never again accuse redneck cinema of promoting either the sturm or the drang.