I loved this film. I liked the Renior version also but felt the darkness of this film made it more realistic. I think that if people are in this situation they will act more this way then like they did in the Renior film. The acting was fabulous including Toshiro Mifune, Koji Mitsui as the Gambler, Gonjiro Nakamura, the landlord and especially Kamatari Fujiwara as the actor and Bokuzen Hidari, "Gramps". I loved the way Kurosawa used stage actors mostly to film this play but they did not show they were stage actors. The scenery was wonderful and not many directors can film a movie and make it interesting with only two locations. I think this should be near the top of Kurosawa's other films.
I hope I put this post in the right place.