Mollie B hits the big screen

—Eastwood flick ‘The Mule’ at Cresco Theatre Jan. 18-24
[Editor’s note: This movie was originally scheduled for Jan. 25-31, but was moved up by the movie company to Jan. 18-24. The Times Plain Dealer appologizes for not publishing this in a timely manor.]
Cresco - You may have seen her at Czech Days in Protivin or after the Harmony Fourth of July parade. You might even have seen her performing in Branson, Mo. and other venues across 25 states and 11 countries! 
A person might even recognize her from her appearances on the small screen, bringing the “Mollie B Polka Party” to RFD-TV.
Now fans can see Mollie B on the big screen as well! She has a bit role in the new movie “The Mule,” which is playing at the Cresco Theatre, starting on Jan. 18 for the next week.
How did that happen to a Midwestern girl whose dad, Jim Busta, grew up near Jackson Junction and mom, Mary Lou, grew up near Festina?
It’s simple, really. The “Polka Party” airs in over 55 million homes on Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 9 p.m., central time. One of those homes belongs to a fan of hers . . . Clint Eastwood! Yea, that Clint Eastwood.
The 88 year old actor, filmmaker, musician and former mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea, Calif. watches Mollie B. “They placed a polka band in the script hoping I would be able to fulfill the role as Mollie B,” the musician told the Times.
“He was great to work with. I found him to be very  kind, knowledgeable, gentle and had no airs about him.”
Meant to be
Mollie’s film appearance, with her main band SqueezeBox, seems to have been destined to take place. She received a voicemail on her work line, which she hadn’t listened to. Four days later, on March 26, 2018, she got another call from the same number. That number was from the Warner Brothers Studios producer Tim Moore. The first message he mentioned a director was a fan of “Mollie B Polka Party,” and he requested she and her band be in an upcoming movie. The second message specified it was Eastwood.
Moore had checked out her schedule and found a date on her website www.mollieb. com, when the group could be available to film in Atlanta, Ga. Mollie’s entire story can be found on the website.
As the filming date got closer, Mollie was told she could submit songs for her scene, so she (four) and husband Ted Lange (two) wrote six songs in just a few days. They later recorded the songs in her parents’ garage in Onalaska, Wis.
Eastwood reviewed the songs and chose “A Day to Say Thank You,” written by Mollie, and another, “It’s Party Time.”
Mollie said, “It’s humbling that he watches me, for he knows his music. He has written scores for movies.”
It was a very busy time for Mollie. She had her own performances, she was fine-tuning their songs and was anticipating the movie shoot, which took place on June 13. They recorded for about five hours.
“My parents were excited from the get-go,” Mollie noted. “ They were also happy that the scene allowed for ‘Mollie B’ fans for they definitely fit that title.” Most of the polka dancers in the scene are fans and friends of Mollie B and SqueezeBox.
After having lunch with Eastwood, Mollie learned the director had made a change. According to her journal, she said, “I now was to come down off the stage near the end of the song, ‘A Day to Say Thank You,’ with my saxophone around my neck and microphone in hand to dance with Earl Stone, the character played by Clint Eastwood. This new placement in the scene (accidentally) gave me a line in the movie in addition to singing and playing instruments.”
About the entire process, she said, “I was surprised to  learn how quickly they filmed it and got it turned around to be on the big screen in December.” 
On Dec. 10, Mollie and Lange flew to Los Angeles for the premiere. “We [were] just seats away from Diane Wiest, Clint Eastwood, Tim Moore, Toby Keith, the Eastwood family and several crew members. The theater was nice – similar to one you would find yourself sitting in to watch a Broadway musical.”
So what is Mollie’s favorite Eastwood movie? “Oh . . . golly . . . I really don’t know. I might have to say, ‘The Mule.’”
Make it your favorite movie, too, by seeing it in the beautiful Cresco Theatre and Opera House from Jan. 18-31.
[Editor’s note: To get the entire story, check it out on It is worth the read!]
[Editor’s second note: When speaking with Wayne Mashek of A&W/Long John Silvers about Mollie B and Clint Eastwood, Wayne mentioned an interesting piece of history regarding Eastwood and the Cresco Theatre and Opera House. He said the first movie after the 1979 renovation was “Every Which Way But Loose,” starring Eastwood. Well, he was off by just four days! The first movie shown from April 1-4, 1979 was “The Billion Dollar Hobo,” starring Tim Conway, but Eastwood’s movie did play from April 5-11! That’s a pretty good memory for a young fella like Wayne! Thanks for the comments.]

Cresco Times

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