On TCM today they ran Sterling Hayden pictures. I don’t see how you can present an anthology of his movies without showing Nicholas Ray’s Johnny Guitar. Johnny Guitar has the well-worn Western plot: sheriff and gambler fight over dancehall girl. Except that in the case of Johnny Guitar the sheriff and gambler parts were played by Mercedes McCambridge and Joan Crawford while the dancehall girl part was played by Sterling Hayden. We didn’t invent the gender-switch movies we’ve had a spate of lately.
My guess is that in 50 years today’s batch of gender-switch movies will look as campy as Johnny Guitar does now. If they held an intramural scenery-chewing contest, it would probably look a lot like Johnny Guitar. Some directors can direct women (George Cukor) while others can’t. IMO Nicholas Ray falls into the latter category.