A verse drama written largely in poetic form, the tragedy deals indirectly with the famous Sacco-Vanzetti case, in which two Italian immigrants with radical political beliefs were executed. Its plot follows Mio Romagna’s quest to prove his father’s innocence in the years after Bartolomeo Romagna was executed for a robbery and murder he did not commit. Mio's quest is complicated by his love for Miriamne Esdras and the difficult ethical decisions that result from his connection with her family.
The Broadway production, produced and directed by Guthrie McClintic, opened on September 25, 1935 at the Martin Beck Theatre, where it ran for 195 performances. The cast included Burgess Meredith, Margo, and Eduardo Ciannelli.
It won the first ever New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Play.