36 user 39 critic

The Polka King (2017)

2:17 | Trailer
Local Pennsylvania polka legend Jan Lewan develops a plan to get rich that shocks his fans and lands him in jail.


Maya Forbes





Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Black ... Jan Lewan
Jenny Slate ... Marla Lewan
Jason Schwartzman ... Mickey Pizzazz
Jacki Weaver ... Barb
J.B. Smoove ... Ron Edwards (as JB Smoove)
Robert Capron ... David Lewan
Willie Garson ... Lonny
Vanessa Bayer ... Bitsy Bear
Robert Macaux Robert Macaux ... Christopher
Mary Klug Mary Klug ... Anita Krzyewski
Wallace Wolodarsky ... Vince (as Wally Wolodarsky)
Lew Schneider Lew Schneider ... Lou Laroue
Phyllis Kay Phyllis Kay ... Marilyn
Richard Donelly Richard Donelly ... Stan Moetek
Kati Salowsky ... Connie Klopski


Local Pennsylvania polka legend Jan Lewan develops a plan to get rich that shocks his fans and lands him in jail.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The greatest scandal in polka history.


TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

12 January 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Man Who Would Be Polka King See more »

Filming Locations:

Rhode Island, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Filmed at The German American Cultural Society in Pawtucket, RI and Rhodes on the Pawtuxet in Cranston, RI. See more »


Although the minor detail was caught to use the proper blue & yellow Pennsylvania license plates prior to the year 2000 and then update them to the current form upon Lewan's release from prison, vehicles are shown having front plates. Pennsylvania does not issue front license plates. See more »


[first lines]
Jan Lewan: [narrating] When I was little boy in Poland, all the times, I dreaming of America. So I come, I work hard, and I climb to the highest stars.
Jan Lewan: [on stage singing] Oh, la, la; Ole, ole, ole, ole; O la-di, o la-la; Ole, ole, ole, ole; O la-di, o la-la Let's go!
See more »


Version of The Man Who Would Be Polka King (2009) See more »


Red Apple Oberek
Traditional, arranged by Stephen Kaminski
Performed by Jan Lewan & His Orchestra
Courtesy of JRD Productions
See more »

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User Reviews

Decent filler for the Netflix library.
26 February 2018 | by Jared9001See all my reviews

Before watching this film, I watched the documentary on what it's based. If you want to actually know the true story of Jan Lewan, watch that documentary. If you want to have a fun, basic movie experience- watch this one. It's clear that this film is very far from relating to the actual events that occurred in Pennsylvania, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but the twisting of the facts drastically change the viewers impression of who Lewan is. The Polka King is a film that can't decide what it is- is it a full out outlandish comedy, or an actual biopic? Some moments come off as truthful and sincere, which contradict other moments that are a bit too over the top and break the overall feeling of the film. We see that primarily in the portrayal of Barb (Jacki Weaver), a character that is clear and distinct but feels as if she belongs in an SNL sketch, alongside characters (such as Jack Black's portrayal of Jan Lewan) that are clearly meant to be more realistic. The performances in this movie that range from solid- Jack Black, as always, is giving his all and is fun to watch, to just not great and out of place- J.B. Smooth just doesn't make sense here. Overall, this is a TV movie. It's not a higher piece of art or anything like that, but if you're looking for something to just watch for the evening, this movie is perfectly suitable. 6.0/10

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