Though he began his career with commedia all'italiana, Ettore Scola shifted his cinematic view to larger concerns, and matured into one of the most highly regarded Italian filmmakers of the 1970s and into the 1990s.
After World War II, Scola went to Rome to study law, but opted to pursue a writing career. Following in the footsteps of Federico Fellini, Scola contributed to humor magazine Marc' Aurelio before he entered the film industry as a screenwriter in 1953. Over the next decade, Scola churned out dozens of comic scripts, both in collaboration and solo, including Love and Larceny (1960) and The Magnificent Cuckold (1964). Scola moved to directing in 1964 with the sex farce Let's Talk About Women. Though he spent the remainder of the decade directing such stars as Vittorio Gassman, Nino Manfredi, and Marcello Mastroianni in traditional Italian comedies, other critical concerns emerged in his films by the 1970s.