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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 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?


Both Jacki Weaver and Jason Schwartsman worked on Blunt Talk (2015). 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 »


Trumpeter's Waltz
Written by Stephen Kaminski
Performed by Jan Lewan & His Orchestra
Courtesy of JRD Productions
See more »

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User Reviews

Jack Black Can Do Polka
27 January 2018 | by christopher-cole83See all my reviews

The Movie "The Polka King" is based on the life of Jan Lewan, a Polish immigrant who came to the United States, settled in Northeastern Pennsylvania and continued his polka career, and eventually running a Ponzi Scheme. I'm not entirely sure how many of the facts of the man's life were embellished for the story, or if it can truly be considered a bio-pic. It is, none the less, entertaining due to Jack Black portraying Jan.

Because "School of Rock" showcased Black actually having some musical talent, I was surprised to see that he played, quite competently at that, the leader and singer of a polka band, a vastly different style than what he showcased in School of Rock. I don't know how much of a stretch it was for him, as a musician or an actor to pull it off, but in watching this he came across as a legitimate polka band leader, not as someone trying to portray one. He clearly brought some energy to the role, and seemingly getting the approval of Jan Lewan himself.

If you're a fan of Jack Black, or a fan of polka, or both, it's worth your time. It's not great cinema by any means, but I think it showcases that Black is versatile, and that's not a bad thing.

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