Man with a Cross was originally released in Italy as L'Uomo della Croce. Evidently, Roberto Rosselini had some difficulty concentrating on this one. He directed the film at the behest of the fascist government, at a time when his thoughts were probably focussed on his long-anticipated (and never-finished) Desiderio. The religious aspects of the plotline tend to be subordinate to the Mussolini party line. Man with a Cross contains next to none of the neorealism of Rossellini's later works, and has little to recommend it beyond the famed filmmaker's participation.
by Hal Erickson synopsis