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Film / Allied

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Allied is a 2016 romantic thriller film, directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard.

Royal Canadian Air Force intelligence officer Max Vatan (Pitt) and French resistance fighter Marianne Beauséjou (Cotillard) fall in love on a mission in Casablanca and get married in London. But Marianne is accused of being a German spy impersonating Beauséjou, and Max must either prove her innocence or execute her.

Allied provides examples of the following:

  • Agents Dating: Max and Marianne turn their fake relationship into a real one.
  • Artistic Licence – History:
    • Max is told that if Marianne's a traitor, he'll have to execute her himself or be hanged for treason as an accomplice. If any such arrangement ever existed, it was well hidden. Spies were arrested and dealt with through the regular legal system.
    • The fact that there are two Nazi agents in Hampstead running Marianne. Though they wouldn't find out till after the war, MI5 successfully turned or imprisoned all but one German agent from relatively early on - and the sole exception killed themselves before capture. When it turns out she is a traitor, it would be much more likely they'd turn her or secretly Feed the Mole, especially so close to D-Day, and especially when she was clearly acting under duress and willing to turn. This successfully misled the Germans into believing the Allies would attack Calais, not Normandy.
    • When Max and Marianne relocate to London after the successful fulfillment of their Casablanca mission, the city is portrayed as being still a major target of concentrated German bombings, with one minor character explicitly mentioning she would miss the Blitz when it was over. Given that the Casablanca mission took place at some point in 1942, this is utterly unhistorical, since the systemic bombing of Britain known as the Blitz was called off in May 1941, with some sporadic bombing continuing until June of that year.
    • The German ambassador Max and Marianne are ordered to execute in Casablanca is later reavealed to have been an anti-Hitler dissident intentionally installed to Casablanca with the express intention to let him be killed by the Allies. This is completely unconvincing for two reasons: Firstly, In 1942, there was no systematic opposition against Hitler's rule among high-ranking German officials. Since the country was still appearing to have the upper hand in the war, no party, state and army dignitaries (who had been throughly checked and where needed purged before the war had started) had yet felt any need to be disloyal to the regime. Secondly, even if the ambassador had been revelaed by the German authorities to be an opponent of the regime, there would have been no reason whatsoever for such a complex and highly unreliable plot to remove him. In that case, he would have been swiftly transported to one of the concentration camps for political prisoners and quietly "disappeared" in the same way as it happen to many dissidents outside of the official circles.
  • Badass Boast: When Max and Marianne go out to practice with the weapons they'll be using on their mission, Marianne fumbles hers, not having noticed that the safety was on. Max asks her if she'll be all right using the guns, and Marianne replies, "I'd be all right if I had to use cutlery."
  • Becoming the Mask: Marianne admits that she actually does like the collaborator friends she made as part of her mission in Casablanca, explaining that the reality makes her performance natural. Max recalls her saying this when she's accused of being a Nazi spy, because she still could be a spy even if her love for him were real. Ultimately she confesses that this is exactly what happened: she fell in love with Max for real and tried to live her life as his wife.
  • Blackmail: Marianne says she left Nazi service but was blackmailed into working for them after she went off to England with Max. German agents were planted in the area to ensure her loyalty, with the threat of killing Anna if she refused (this included one as her nanny).
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Max describing his and Marianne's predecessors (or, more specifically, why agents shouldn't get romantically involved).
    Max: They started fucking, then they got fuckin' careless, now they're fuckin' dead!
    Marianne: That's a lot of fucking.
  • Les Collaborateurs: The first act of the film is spent in Casablanca, which is controlled by Vichy France, the collaborationist French government. Marianne has befriended a range of French collaborators as part of her work in the Resistance. However, Marianne is herself a spy for the Germans, presumably of French extraction, working as a double agent. We also see a French police officer in France who alerts German soldiers as to the location of French Resistance fighters.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Marianne is accused of stealing the real Marianne Beauséjou's identity to aid the Germans. It's true.
  • Death Equals Redemption: Marianne shoots herself to get Max out of trouble out of genuine love for him and to atone for her German espionage activities.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Max's sister Bridget is a lesbian who is happy that the war has made people at least temporarily unconcerned about her sexuality. Max is still disapproving.
  • Double-Meaning Title: Max and Marianne work for the Allies during World War 2. They are also allied to each other.
  • Eye Scream: While trying to prove his wife's identity, Max talks to Guy Sangster, an officer who was shot down over Dieppe and smuggled back to England by Marianne, hoping Guy can positively identify her in her and Max's wedding photograph. Guy reveals his left retina is detached, so all he can see is white blots, while his right eye was shot out along with part of his eye socket.
  • Foreshadowing: Although a crack shot, Marianne has trouble disengaging the safety of a Sten gun. Max suspiciously questions why she is unfamiliar with Sten guns as a French Resistance member, but Marianne says that she didn't see Max engage the travel safety. Ultimately it's revealed that Marianne is not a member of the French Resistance but a spy for the Germans.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: There's a high-ranking government man in a suit and glasses, cold as ice, who tells Max that Marianne may be a traitor, that he is to not interfere, and that, if she is guilty, he is to shoot her.
  • Girl on Girl Is Hot: At a party, Max's sister and her partner are requested to kiss by some men. They do, and the men cheer.
  • Good Versus Good: RCAF intelligence officer against V Section trying to root out a spy.
  • Helicopter Blender: Inverted. During the climax, Frank purposefully drives his car into the propeller of a taxiing plane to stop it from leaving. The car gets badly scratched, but the propeller shatters, disabling the plane.
  • Heroic Suicide: Marianne shoots herself to make sure Anna doesn't grow up an orphan and Max isn't executed along with her.
  • Hidden Depths: Max reveals little about himself in Casablanca other than that he's a serious and committed soldier. When called upon to simply cut a deck of cards, however, he spends virtually a solid minute doing every single card-shuffling trick in the book. While his knowledge of phosphates is a part of his cover identity, his interest in gambling is simply an excuse conjured up by Marianne, suggesting that Max really is a card sharp in real life.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Guy Sangster is put out when Max asks him to look at a picture of Marianne when he lost one eye and is basically blind in the other, but he appears to understand that Max didn't know about his injuries (Sangster was sitting in a manner that meant Max couldn't see his right eye and Sangster's left eye looked basically normal).
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: Marianne's handler, posing as the babysitter. She starts announcing her name, rank and serial number when Max shoots her in the head.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: In Casablanca, Max recognizes a German officer who interrogated him on a previous mission. He follows the officer when he makes a phone call and strangles him to death, then stuffs a piece of bread down his throat and tells a waiter it sounded like someone was choking.
  • Misplaced Accent: Both in and out of universe. Max's cover identity is Parisian, but Marianne says that his accent sounds like he's from Quebec, which would make sense given that he's Canadian. In reality, he sounds like a plain old American struggling with French.
  • Moe Greene Special: An Air Force officer who knew Marianne reveals his right eye was shot out.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: During the assassination, Marianne has a moment of stunned regret after shooting one of the French collaborators she had befriended.
  • Posthumous Character: The real Marianne died before the start of the film. She was apparently a brown-haired and slender young woman with brown eyes, who painted watercolors and played the piano.
  • Red Herring:
    • Max's sister Bridget and her partner serve no role in the story except to provide additional suspects for the German spy in London. Bridget works as an military officer, so she could have been the source, whether wittingly or not, of the intelligence that the spy passes on to the Germans. Max also tells Bridget about Marianne's blue-dye test after expressly being told not to tell anyone, which could have helped either of them fake a false positive on the test. Ultimately, Marianne is the spy, and the couple are never seen again after this is revealed.
    • It’s probably no coincidence that the anonymous rat catcher looks and acts more like a stereotypical Gestapo agent than British intelligence.
    • The "secret test" hypothesis is given as an alternative to anyone being a spy, but it's proven untrue.
  • La Résistance: Marianne works for the French resistance. She and Max go to Casablanca to assassinate the German ambassador. Max later flies a supply plane to resistance fighters in Dieppe so he can question a Frenchman as to her identity, then helps them destroy a German half-track and take out a platoon when the alarm is raised.
  • Riddle for the Ages: What was Marianne's true nationality and name?
  • Secret Test: A colleague suggests to Max the accusations might be a test to run supplies to the resistance on D-Day. It's not. V Section has Max conduct one on Marianne by leaving fake information on a notepad by his bedside, so they can monitor transmissions for that information to reveal if Marianne is a spy. It turns up on the known spy channels.
  • Undercover as Lovers: Max and Marianne pose as husband and wife in Casablanca.
  • Wartime Wedding: Max and Marianne get married in London during the war.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Max's CO chews him out after he finds out Max asked a pilot of a plane running supplies to French resistance to ask someone who knew Marianne to verify her photo. The pilot was shot to pieces on the runway because he waited too long for a drunk to look at a photograph.