Demetrius and the Gladiators is a film in which a host of powerful men and women vie for the acquisition of the robes of Christ. Demetrius (Victor Mature), a recently freed slave, is now under the command of Peter (Michael Rennie). They must protect the robe as it is an artifact of enormous significance. This will be no easy task once emperor Caligula (Jay Robinson) sets his sights on it. After Demetrius gets into a street brawl, he is apprehended by Roman authorities. Since he cannot prove that he is not a slave, he is condemned to fight in the arena as a gladiator. Demetrius then falls in love with a young Christian woman, but when Messalina (Susan Hayward) finds out, she orders the girl to be raped by Dardanius (Richard Egan) and his consorts. Demetrius manages to slay the lot of them, but this propagates a host of new problems in the story.