Women delivered the goods in this classic ’70s buddy flick

Start with “Thelma & Louise”, add in a liberal dose of “Smokey & The Bandit“, throw in a pinch of “Steel Cowboy” and a dash of “Convoy” and serve it up on late ‘70s television and you have “Flatbed Annie & Sweetiepie: Lady Truckers.” (Available to stream on Amazon Prime.)

Kim Darby and Annie Potts at the wheel in “Flatbed Annie & Sweetiepie”

This 1979 made for TV movie starred Annie Potts as Flatbed Annie and Kim Darby as Ginny La Rosa, a.k.a Sweetiepie, as two young women on the run in and trying to save a Mack Super-Liner. The two are being chased by C.W. Douglas (Harry Dean Stanton), a relentless repo man after the truck for missed payments. Also on the trail of the two women are Thug 1 and Thug 2, hijackers in aviator sunglasses trying to retrieve a stash of cocaine that had been secretly stuffed into the cab of the Mack unbeknownst to Ginny’s husband Jack (Fred Willard) during a trip to Mexico.

Along the way, this road movie becomes a somewhat charming buddy flick. When Jack De Larosa gets shot by Thug 1 and Thug 2, the Super-Liner needs to be retrieved from California. Meek Ginny, who knows little about trucks and less about driving, is determined to get the truck back and earn the money to make the back payments. Enter feisty Annie, a tough-talking, hard-driving, chain-smoking cut from the toughest outlaw trucker cloth.

The Mack Super-Liner that stars in the movie

The two combine forces to deliver a load of oranges and make enough money to get the Mack back home.

Stanton, the insistent repo man driving a Lincoln Continental with steer horns on the hood and a mini-fridge, phone, typewriter and car phone on the front seat, dogs the women all the way. He often crosses paths with Thug 1 and Thug 2 who don’t care about the Mack, but just want their cocaine.

Even with the bad guys on their tails and the clock ticking on the deadline to pick up their first load, Annie & Sweetiepie have time to pull into a truck stop so Annie can settle a score with a guy who jilted her. Of course, the baddies catch-up and one or several chases ensue.

Not as epic as the chase in “Convoy” or acrobatic as the ones in “Smokey & the Bandit,” but the Mack holds its own while outrunning and outramming its pursuers in “Flatbed Annie …”. It takes a bounty hunter’s rifle to scare off the cocaine dealers and bring the Super-Liner to a stop … but only temporarily.

A “TV Guide” story from the time showing how driving scenes were made.

In true trucker movie style, partners in the convoy come to the rescue, dumping their loads or oranges onto the repo man and letting Annie and Sweetie Pie bolt to freedom.

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No one lined up to hand filmmaking awards to anyone associated with this flick. That said, “Flatbed Annie & Sweetie Pie” is a good hour and a half’s old school diversion after your own day on the road.

Potts, just 26 at the time and fresh off an award-winning performance in “Corvette Summer,” is loud and tough while offering what may be the shortest truck driving lesson in history.

When approached by Ginny to help recover the truck, Annie spits back, “Forget it. I have better things to do with my time than teach some prissy ding-aling how to drive a big rig so why don’t you take a hike.”

Kim Darby and Annie Potts

Darby, 10 years since starring opposite John Wayne in “True Grit,” is loud and has enough curly hair — and determination — for two women.

In what may be one of the oddest casting jobs ever, Flatbed Annie & Sweetiepie also stars Rory Calhoun, Arthur Godfrey and Avery Schreiber, all familiar to anyone who watched TV when the screens were small and the channels far fewer.

Equally as odd, the movie was directed by Robert Greenwald, who would go on to several stark dramas like “The Burning Bed” and a long list of political documentaries.

An off-the-wall mix to be sure, but one that managed a classic, “B” grade trucker movie.