Cast & Crew
In June, 1945, Enrico, a struggling journalist in Rome, receives a phone call from his newspaper office in Florence informing him of his brother Lorenzo's death. Enrico's thoughts return to the years before World War I: When their mother dies bearing Lorenzo and their father is hospitalized from war wounds, both boys are reared by their grandmother until Lorenzo is adopted by the butler of a wealthy Englishman. Enrico is raised in poverty and Lorenzo in comfort until 1935, when the brothers are reunited. Lorenzo has argued with the butler, who can no longer provide for him since his employer's death. A poor student but accustomed to a gentleman's life, Lorenzo knows no profession and is unfit for the struggle of life. Enrico tries to help him, although he has his own problems and wishes to improve himself. The brothers grow fond of each other and frequently visit their grandmother in a home for the elderly. Enrico contracts tuberculosis and is placed in a sanitarium; when he is released, he finds Lorenzo's situation unimproved. After the death of their grandmother, Enrico leaves Florence to accept a position as a journalist in Rome, while Lorenzo marries and becomes a father; but misfortunes continue to plague him. He develops an intestinal infection and enters a hospital in Rome for treatment, but his condition worsens, and Enrico moves him to a private clinic. When it becomes obvious that Lorenzo is dying, Enrico arranges to have him returned to Florence to see his wife and child once more. The next day, as Enrico is preparing to join his brother, he is informed of Lorenzo's death.
While Enrico was raised in poverty by his grandmother, his younger brother and fraternal twin, Lorenzo (Jacques Perrin), was adopted by a butler who worked for a wealthy man and was able to provide the finer things in life. Earnest and hard-working, Enrico becomes a journalist in Rome while Lorenzo idles away his time in Florence, finding himself at a loss after the butler can no longer provide for him. The brothers share a loving relationship, but Enrico's efforts to help Lorenzo are cut short when the younger brother becomes gravely ill.
Critical reaction to Family Diary was mixed, but included such praise as Time magazine's comment that "The color photography tactfully subtends the mood of green and yellow melancholy, and director Zurlini develops a very real and moving relationship between the hero and older brother." Bosley Crowther, writing in The New York Times, offered the opinion that Mastroianni "binds this picturization of heartbreaks into a throbbing documentation of personal grief."
The exquisite, dark-hued cinematography of Giuseppe Rotunno was universally praised and won a "Silver Ribbon" as the year's best from Italy's National Syndicate of Film Journalists. The movie itself was co-winner of the Golden Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival (shared with Andre Tarkovsky's My Name Is Ivan).
Producer: Goffredo Lombardo
Director: Valerio Zurlini
Screenplay: Valerio Zurlini, Mario Missiroli, from novel by Vasco Pratolini
Cinematography: Giuseppe Rotunno
Original Music: Goffredo Petrassi
Editing: Mario Serandrei
Art Director: Flavio Mogherini
Costume Designer: Gaia Romanini
Principal Cast: Marcello Mastroianni (Enrico), Jacques Perrin (Lorenzo), Salvo Randone (Salocchi), Serena Vergano (Hospital nun), Valeria Ciangottini (Enzina), Sylvie (Grandmother).
by Roger Fristoe
Opened in Rome in September 1962 as Cronaca familiare; running time: 108 min (may have been cut from 122 min).
Co-Winner of the Golden Lion for Best Film at the 1962 Venice Film Festival.
Released in United States 1962
Released in United States 1962