Simon Spies still grabbing publicity from beyond the grave

August 29th, 2013

This article is more than 10 years old.

Christoffer Boe’s new film about the millionaire Simon Spies’s relationship with a politician hits cinemas today – but is mostly fictional, say families

In the 1970s and 80s, eccentric millionaire Simon Spies and right-wing politician Mogens Glistrup were two of the media’s favourite scandal-makers. Back then, working for a tabloid was simply a question of waiting for them to perform their next crazy escapade. But few knew that they were in fact very close friends.


If Glistrup and Spies were alive today, one can only wonder what they would say if they saw the new biographical movie based on their escapades, ‘Glistrup & Spies’, which hits cinemas today.


The next best opinion, therefore, is the one shared by their families, and according to media reports this week, Glistrup’s daughter does not approve of the way the duo have been portrayed.


“This is fiction the director is in his right to make his film,” Anne-Marie Glistrup told BT newspaper after seeing the film. “and, I won’t blame him for that. But the movie is pure fiction and it is not about my father.” 


Janni Spies, who inherited her husband’s company and fortune after his death in 1984, announced from the beginning that she didn’t want anything to do with the picture. Her character only makes a minor appearance in the film.


Director Christoffer Boe has defended his film by arguing that he is depicting a part of the story that isn’t very well documented and therefore he had to fill in the blanks himself. 


“We have been told a lot about Glistrup and Spies – and everybody we talked to had a great anecdote about Spies – but few knew much about their mutual friendship,” he told the film magazine Ekko.


“So we had to put the pieces together ourselves based on what we knew from statements and episodes in their lives.”


Whether or not the criticism will affect how well the film does at the box office is hard to tell. But wasn’t it Spies himself who once said that “bad publicity is better than no publicity”?


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