FRANKLIN, Tennessee–Television host and former news anchor Nick Clooney and his wife Nina will be part of the “Old Hollywood” themed film premiere at the Franklin Theatre at 6:30 pm tonight of a documentary on the Constitution he narrates. Attendees are invited to “walk the red carpet with Nick and Nina Clooney” at the event organized by the 917 Society to promote its new film aimed at high school students.
In an exclusive interview on Monday with The Tennessee Star, Clooney, father of movie star George Clooney, explained why at 83 years of age he agreed to narrate the film.
“If this doesn’t ring a bell with the kids, then we have to find another way to do it, because the young people, right now, have no idea what the Constitution is, what it means, what it stands for,” Clooney said of the documentary he narrates.
“We used to, of course, have to learn the preamble in school. We had to learn to do that, and we had to recite it every year in our Civics class. We had to know what that meant to us, and how we were just floundering as a nation after the Revolutionary War with the Continental Congress until somebody said, ‘We better make this solid,’ ” Clooney added.
Clooney offered a vigorous testimony to the importance of the Constitution to the fabric of the United States.
“We have at our disposal, as a nation, a narrative to our hopes and aspirations. It’s called the Constitution,” he said.
“And if we nurture it, and if we learn it, if we refuse to forget it, if we refuse to trivialize it, if we refuse to let our natural sense of irony take something away from the eminence of its place in our history,” then our nation will continue to thrive, he noted.
If not, Clooney added, “then we lose everything.”
“We cannot do that. We cannot allow that to happen to this magnificent country. It is only another bag of wind if you don’t have the Constitution,” Clooney concluded.
Clooney and his wife, Nina, drove to Middle Tennessee from their home in Kentucky to participate in the premiere event in Franklin this evening. The Clooneys have been married since 1959. Their son George Clooney is one of the biggest movie stars in the world today.
Nick Clooney appeared in the 2014 film on World War II which his son George directed and starred in, The Monuments Men.
Clooney and his family have had a prominent place in the entertainment industry for more than half a century.
His late sister, Rosemary Clooney, was an internationally recognized singer who starred with Bing Crosby in the 1954 classic film White Christmas.
He himself spent decades as a local news anchor in Lexington, Kentucky, Cincinnati, Ohio, and elsewhere. He is perhaps best known as a host on the American Movie Classics cable network.
In 2004 ran for Congress in Kentucky as a Democrat, but lost in the general election. It was his only foray into politics.
The 917 Society is a Tennessee-based non-profit whose “goal is to impress on students the relevance and practicality gained through an understanding of the U.S. Constitution.”
The group wants “to provide every 8th grader in the United States with a lasting, durable pocket version of the U.S. Constitution.”
It is also “producing a short film on the importance of the U.S. Constitution to every citizen’s value and rights. This film is narrated by Nick Clooney and made available to educators across the United States to show in their classroom on September 17th, in honor of Constitution Day.”
There are still some tickets available for tonight’s (Tuesday, May 23) premiere in Franklin, which can be ordered here or purchased at the Franklin Theatre, located at 419 Main St. The evening’s festivities begin at 6:30 pm and are expected to continue until 9 pm.