Italian poet/playwright Carmine Gallone began his professional career at Rome's Teatro Argentina in 1911. Two years later he established himself as a scenarist/screenwriter at the Cines studio. He built up a following with a series of "white telephone" dramas, so named because of their high-society ambience. Many of these starred his wife, Polish-born actress Soava. Having helmed several European costume dramas in the early 1930s, Gallone seemed the ideal choice to direct the Mussolini-dictated patriotic epic Scipio L'Africano (1936), the most expensive Italian film produced up to that time. Perhaps as a reaction to the overbearing pro-fascist propaganda of Scipio L'Africano, Gallone directed the violently anti-fascist film Before Him All Rome Trembled in 1946. This effort has been described as "operatic," a tag which no doubt would have been flattering to Gallone who committed several famous operas (Rigoletto, Tosca etc.) to the screen during his career. Carmine Gallone spent his declining years turning out such surefire moneymakers as the "Don Camillo" films.