This week we put the Sullivan's Travels hypothesis to the test with two adaptations of the same play. Akira Kurosawa sticks close to the Maxim Gorky-play source with his 1957 adaptation of the 1902 play about rundown people in a rundown flophouse. Whereas in 1936 Jean Renoir turned the story into an escapist romantic comedy. The two great directors even have their respective best actors (Toshiro Mifune and Jean Gabin) starring as the same character for maximum comparison.
Reportedly, Gorky loved Renoir's script. Reportedly, Renoir recognized Kurosawa's film as much better than his own.