The film is based on Temple Thurston’s play of the same name, and the adaptation is divided into four episodes. The first is Jerusalem on the day of the Crucifixion; the second, Antioch in the time of the first crusade; third, Palermo, Sicily, in 1290; and fourth, Seville in 1560, during the Inquisition.
It is a massive, artistic and well-acted filming, flavored perhaps by an overplus of scenes, and more detail than is necessary.
Conrad Veidt in the first half of the picture is guilty of scene-chewing. All this is counteracted before the finish by a restrained, moving dignity which he contributes to the wanderer of centuries.
Maria Ney, Anne Grey and Joan Maude are the three women in the first three episodes, and do nothing to distinguish themselves; Peggy Ashcroft as the Magdalene in the fourth phase, who is converted by the Christ-like nobility of Battadios (Veidt), offers a fine characterization rich in feeling. The inquisitors are Francis L. Sullivan, Felix Aylmer and Ivor Barnard, all of them vividly Machiavellian.