Hello everybody,
We hope this page will help who doesn'y know Italian language and want to know something about us Block-Heads
and our activities!

- Alessandro Santi -
from Prato, near Firenze, Italy is the Grand Sheik of the new Italian tent Block-Heads (Oasis #258).
- Alberto Vangelisti -
is Vice Sheik.
2006 (2007/2008)

ebruary 23rd– 85 years from The Lucky Dog and almost 80 from Stan & Babe pairing at the Roach Studios – a new Sons Of The Desert Tent was found in Prato, near Firenze, Italy, for men and women of all ages and status. Alessandro Santi is the Grand Sheik of the new Italian Block-Heads Tent (Oasis #258). Alberto Vangelisti is the Vice Sheik. Alessandro has been an active member of A Chump At Oxford Tent of Modena (founded by his friend Tiziano Medici) since 1994. He can remember the first time he saw Stan & Babe on TV and over the years he still enjoys the films of the Boys in every media, not least the public showing in theatres led by us Sons all over Italy. With some help from fellow Sons, from 2002 to 2005 Alessandro organized an annual three days Laurel & Hardy Film Festival at the Cineteca di Firenze; he hosted the screenings, entertaining the public with biographical and technical anecdotes. Alberto has a large collection of reels of L&H films that are shown at the meetings; he’s Vice President of the Cineclub CGS Primi Piani of Figline V.no (Firenze).

- some Laurel & Hardy posters  -

May 10th Alessandro was interviewed at the regional Radio Toscana Network program. Our first official meeting, Friday 16th June: we met all together at 19.30 in a reserved foyer and dining room at Hotel Datini in Prato. Before a hour passed all the Sons plus four guests arrived. We finally were 24 persons, from seven to 60 years old, united by the love towards Stan & Babe. Special guests were honorary members Giorgio Ariani – actor and the official Italian voice of Babe in films since 1985 – and Tiziano Medici – Grand Sheik of Chump At Oxford # 165 from which Alessandro and Alberto continue to belong. We started with a warm applause to Stan & Babe, thanks to whom we met from Prato, Firenze and other Tuscany and Italian towns. During the dinner all the goals and activities of the club were described to the Sons in an amusing informal atmosphere. Then we belly-laughed at marvellous 8mm copy of The Lucky Dog (provided by the Vice-Sheik) and 16 mm copy of Block-Heads, (provided by Stefano Bianchini, a film collector too). At 12 a.m. all the Sons hardly said goodbye, because all enjoyed that night so much. It was simply a magic experience, like all the other members said. Surprisingly, a journalist and a photographer were present, so we had a full-page about us in a regional newspaper plus few lines and photo in 1st page – not to tell about the other articles that are appearing in local and national press about our Tent.

 July 11th the Grand Sheik was invited at Il Grande Cinema, a regional special TV program about movies hosted by Federico Berti and Elisangelica Ceccarelli, and the hour long all L&H related episode Speciale Stanlio&Ollio was aired on channel TVR TeleItalia for twelve times in two months! July 28th we Block-Heads and Cineclub Fedic Poggio Bracciolini had a film showing in the open air in S.Quirico, near Pistoia. Almost 400 people was present and citizens of S.Quirico are only 300!

Some guest stars as singer Karen Jones introduced the screening: Hog Wild and L&H Laughing ‘20s, both in superb 16 prints. In September we started our official web site: www.ifiglideldeserto.it thanks to the enthusiasm and ability of Son David Ceccarelli, with a help by the Grand Sheik for the text (there’s also an English section) and by Son Simone Rindi for the images. October 12 we Sons hosted a night show with Stan&Babe reels on big screen at Cinema Teatro Salesiani in Figline Valdarno (Firenze). The films were Big Business, Hog Wild, Tit For Tat and the pie fight section of The Battle Of The Century. The public (70 persons) laughted all through the pictures and listen to the Sons presentation, with guest Giorgio Ariani. Before the show we collected money for the Stan&Babe Statue Appeal for Ulverston (Stan’s birthplace), as we did in the following events.

2007 (2006 / 2008)

February 10th, at Cinema Nuovo in Figline Valdarno and March 3rd at Cinema Teatro Borsi d’Essai in Prato we celebrated Stan&Ollie’s 80th birthday with two evening screenings thanks to Alberto’s 8 mm reel collection. Guests Enzo Garinei (Stan’s Italian voice and actor who started his career with Totò) and Giorgio Ariani read the card titles of Big Business during the screening, supported by the Grand Sheik! The public of all ages (80 persons in Figline and more than 200 in Prato) was enthusiastic, asked questions about Stan&Babe lives and films and of course laughed at Stan & Babe antics all through the screenings (included Liberty, Another Fine Mess and The Music Box). Unannounced, we finally showed a selection from This Is Your Life Laurel&Hardy and then the home movie Stan Visits Ollie, this time at a touching silent audience; so many people thanked us for the night!

May  we were able to send a € 200 donation for the Stan&Babe Statue Appeal for Ulverston; our Tent is very proud to help this important goal. 

The night of June 1st at Cinema Teatro Ambra in Poggio a Caiano (Prato) our Tent was guest of honour at the annual show of Step By Step dancing school of Prato, directed by Anna Jannarone: we showed Them Thar Hills, the Grand Sheik talks about Stan&Ollie lives and careers; the dancing section At The Ball That’s All from Way Out West was restaged by children and girls in bowlers and then the original one was screened. 

July 7 th we have our annual meeting, celebrating our first year and the 80 th anniversary of the Boys partnership (as remembered in the birthday cake). Again we met in a reserved foyer and dining room at Hotel Datini in Prato. 21 Sons attended the dinner, chattering and enjoying every minute, not to mention the following screening of 8mm copies of 45 Minutes From Hollywood and Sons Of The Desert , on big screen. The Grand Sheik told the audience all the past activities, presented the first number of our annual journal, L'Eco del Cuckoo ( The Cuckoo's Echo ), with a cover drawn by the most famous Italian comics artist Jacovitti, and announced some of the future projects.

July 12 at Figline Valdarno, near Firenze, we hosted the screening of Them Tham Hills and Jerry Lewis' The Bell Boy in an open air screening program that included Donald Duck in Good Scout . All the filoms were projected by and courtesy of the Vice-Sheik Alberto Vangelisti, who organized evening screenings of a selection of comic films of the past all through the summer.

In July and September we Sons pose for a two weeks photografic exposition dedicated to Stan and Babe, full of many of the Boys classic photos and, for the first time, 10 never published photos of Stan and Babe in Italy (1950). The exposision, approprieted titled Attenti al Click! (Wild Poses) , was held October 27-November 10 and for one evening 18 december .
Many visitors and also two schools and one association enjoyed the photos. November 11 th we had the first Italian screening on big screen of Wild Poses for our Sons. December 21 at Figline Valdarno, we hosted the screening of Big Business and Below Zero in an all Christmas related screening program, including Disney's The Small One and Mickey's Christmas Carol . All the films were on big screen and courtesy of the local Cineteca Lumiére.

2008 (2006 / 2007)

In March 15 th , 2008 we had the first Italian screening on big screen of Wild Poses for the general public in Cinema Borsi in Prato: at the presence of 140 enthusiastic people we have also shown Block-Heads in the 70 th anniversary of the film and hosted the screenigs with many Stan&Babe related anectodes. We said arrivederci the audience with the first reel of The Stolen Jools , another Italian premiére. For the occasion we wore our new official t-shirt, picturing Stan & Babe with our Tent logo. As for all the other events, many articles appeared in local and national press about us and the Boys.
For the next months we are planning many screenings for the convicts at the local prison Casa Circondariale La Dogaia . As you can imagine we will start with Pardon Us !

We actually are 46 Sons from all Italy; our honorary members are Enzo Garinei and Giorgio Ariani (the official dubbers of Stan & Babe since 1985), and Tiziano Medici from A Chump At Oxford, the first Italian Tent.
We wish to thank all the Block-Heads Sons, expecially those who helped me and Alberto in our first all-related Stan&Babe two years! We wouldn't ever imagined to know so many special persons and do so many events.
That is to say that Stan & Babe are forever alive in everybody's hearts! I hope you enjoyed to read about our activities and wish to tell you more next time, meanwhile I salute you with a Good-byyyyyyyye!!!

Alessandro Santi  Grand Sheik of the Italian Tent Block-Heads,
Oasis 258, Sons Of The Desert, International Laurel & Hardy Society

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write us at: testedure258@libero.it