Allied is a 2016 romantic war drama thriller film directed by Robert Zemeckis and written by Steven Knight. It stars Brad Pitt as a Canadian intelligence officer and Marion Cotillard as a French Resistance fighter who fall in love while posing as a married couple during a mission in Casablanca in 1942.
The film premiered in Los Angeles on November 9, 2016, and was released in the United States on November 23, 2016, by Paramount Pictures. It received mixed reviews from critics, being criticized for its screenplay and the lack of chemistry between the leads, with praise for its cinematography, musical score and costume design.
Joanna Johnston, who has previously collaborated with the director Robert Zemeckis several times, is the costume designer of the film, and was given free rein by Zemeckis on the designs.
The costume designer has done a beautiful job in creating a polished and glossy look for both protagonists Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard, but it is Cotillard’s outfits that shine in the film, with the mostly somber outfits and somber performance of Brad Pitt serving as a beautiful background.
In order to creat Marion Cotillard’s wardrobe for her personage - Marianne Beauséjour, a French resistance fighter, Johnston looked at the wardrobes of Golden Age actresses Lauren Bacall, Barbara Stanwyck and Katharine Hepburn, as well as the wardrobes utilized in the films Casablanca and Now, Voyager, both from 1942, the year when the story starts in the film Allied.
Casablanca(1942) starring Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart
Now, Voyager(1942) starring Bette Davis and Paul Henreid
Johnston shaped the style of the costumes around the characters, and particular focus was on Marianne, whose clothing altered with the development of the plot. "I wanted her to look very assured in the first part of the film, in Casablanca.", said Johnston, "I looked at a lot of French style and fashion plates from the time, and I made look very clean and graphic. When she goes to London, she takes on a mantle of being a mother and wife, so I put her in warmer tones. But you never really know who she is."
1942, Casablanca, Morocco. Max Vatan, a Royal Canadian Air Force pilot parachuted into the desert. Soon afterwards, A bearded Arabian man came to pick him up in a car, in which he found a suitcase in which Max found false documents, cash, change of clothes, and two guns hidden below. Then the man handed Max a wedding ring: “Your wife wears a purple dress, look for the humbling bird.”.
Marion Cotillard’s complete outfits in film Allied(2016) as Marianne Beauséjour
Max, now changed into a clean stylish linen suit, walked into the Rivoli Club, where he was instructed to find his wife, a woman in purple dress.
Following Max’s searching eyes, we see the back of a tall slender woman in purple dress, who stands long enough for us to recognize the color of her dress and willowed away by a gentleman, revealing the back of another woman, seated, also in a purple dress, but much darker, with shimmer, a satin stole with exquisitely hand painted humming bird thrown on the back of her chair.
The back of the dress features a big diamond shaped opening, exposing the central part of the woman’s back.
The woman felt she was being watched, she turned around, looked, meeting the gaze of Max, she smiled, widely, joyfully, then jumped up and jumped into the arms of Max.
Thus Max meets Marianne, his “wife”, the woman of humming bird, the French resistance fighter who would help him with his mission.
We now see Marianne’s dress from front: a very modest crowl neckline shaped into a shallow v, flowing freely as she moved.
Marianne, with the acquired identity as Christine, happily introduced Max as her husband Maurice to her friends sitting at the same table, the two then choreographed another lie in front of Marianne/Christine’s friends: a loving couple eager for their overdued encounter, and they left together.
1. Dark purple silk lame dress with diamond shaped open back
2. Pale yellow floral print dressing gown and laced slip dress
When the two went into Marriane’s house, supposedly the couple’s home, they talked about a party related to their mission, Max’s French accent and their sleeping arrangements-in the apartment with only one bed. When Max suggested “I will take the couch”, Marianne simply stated: “Actually you will sleep on the roof.” Because “in Casablanca the roof is where the husbands go after they made love to their wives.”
And that was where Max went. Later in the night, Marianne came up to the rooftop to visit Max, as a loving wife in Casablanca was supposed to do. She worn a breezy coral colored silk dressing gown of floor length with floral prints featuring kimono styled neckline and loose three-quarter sleeves, underneath which she wore an equally fluid white silk satin slip dress with laced front clinging to her body, also of floor length.
Under her instructions, the faked couple faked another duet of talk, laugh and kiss, all for the sake of a spying neighbor who was married to A German soldier.
3. White short sleeve shirt dress with patterned pleat skirt
When the night broke into morning, Marianne, still in the same dressing gown and slip dress, welcomed the sunlight while helping Max with his Parisian French accent, and his outfit with some Parisian touch. Then she walked behind the screen, walked out with a completely different outfit: a simple white short sleeved day dress, with dark blue check patterned lower skirt, giving the illusion of two separates: a belted blouse and a pleated skirt.
With Max in another stylish pale colored suit, the two almost looked like a real couple: they walked leisurely on the street, into a cafe and chat with friends, until Max recognized a German Officer who he thought also recognized him, and decided to kill the latter. The floor where Max left the dead German was also of check pattern, like that of Marianne’s skirt.
4. Burnt orange short sleeve silk satin dress featuring appliqués and ruches
When the day melted into another ambiguous night, something had changed. The killing of a German officier somehow bonded Max and Marianne together, making them a more real couple, a couple with shared experience, with shared secret.
Marianne worn a burnt orange silk evening dress with appliqués on both shoulder. Although it was also below the knee level like her dark purple entrance evening dress, although the neckline is also of a shallow V shape, the sleeves slightly longer, and the back opening much more smaller, it seemed much more sensual and seductive, the burning color, the clinging fabric, the boldly shaped front riches just under her stomach area, all sounded like a loud whisper of longing.
Then Marianne danced with Max to protect him being discovered. Holing her, Max said: A lot of jealous guys are giving me the evil eye.”
Marianne, looking steadily into the eyes of Max, replying: “It is because they know I’m in love with you.”, then after pausing for merely two seconds, she continued: “It is very obvious.” At that moment, the loud whisper of longing almost escalated into an open invitation to intimacy.
5. Olive Green military shirt and matching high waist pants
When Marianne shot with a pair of gloves hands, “dressed to kill” has acquired a completely new meaning. She looked more femme fatale in a dark green shirt of military style with matching high waist pants of wed legs than all the dresses she wore before.
It is also in this outfit she tried to seduce Max, openly, not a continuation of her invitation another night, but a fervent defiance of Max who doubted her ability to kill earlier during their target-shooting practice session.
6. Black white patterned dress with deep v neck
The secret mission of Max and Marianne now became clear: killing the German ambassador in an upcoming party, and shooting practice was just part of their preparation. Marianne needed to get an invitation of the party for Max from a German high ranking officer, the ambassador’s liaison, and she dressed to the occasion: a black white long sleeve dress with very sharp and well defined striped patterns, with matching black and white two tone sandals.
7. White short sleeved shirt dress with wing collar
Finally the night before the mission. Marianne went up to the rooftop to see Max, in the same satin slip dress she first visited him there.
“I couldn't sleep.” She confessed. And Max suggested that they watch sunrise together.
As the morning broke out, we can see Marianne in a very simple white short sleeved shirt dress, matching that of Max’s shirt, also white, also simple.
As they were leaving, we can see her dress better, below the knee, like all of her dresses, and the only accessory is a dark red waist belt, nothing else.
In the car, as Max started the engine, Marianne put her right hand over the right hand of Max, and murmured: “If we are dead tomorrow, no one will know.” Max looked into her eyes, stopped the car, and kissed her.
Max had told her earlier the odds of their surviving the mission was 60/40, against, and for both? He did not know.
They kissed and made love, for the first, and perhaps the last time.
8. Sea foam green silk satin gown
“You are magnificent!” That was Max’s reaction when he saw Marianne, walking out of her house in a sea form green silk satin gown with plunging neckline and silver appliqués on her left shoulder and right waist. She was magnificent, indeed, and the dress as well. It would accompany her through the whole journey of her mission to kill, to run and to survive.
It would also be her engagement dress. While escaping from the party, the bloody scene of killing, Max proposed to Marianne: “Come to London with me, come to become my wife!”
9. Ice blue wedding dress
A pair of woman’s legs in black silk stockings walking over thousands of pieces of glass close to a metro station took us to London.
It was three weeks after the mission. Max finally got approval to bring Marianne here to be his wife.
She wore an ice blue long sleeved dress, again with a v neckline. On the wedding, she and Max just looked at each other, smiling.
Then Max walked to her, taking her to him, putting his hand over her stomach: “Are you entirely ok, Madame Vatan?”
“Entirely.” She replied, putting one hand over his, on her stomach, still smiling. She was pregnant.
10. Dark green floral blouse with brown pencil skirt
A year later, when we saw her again, she seemed another woman. She was another woman. A mother of a one year old daughter, a wife of a military officer.
She was making breakfast, wearing a dark green blouse of floral pattern, buttoned up till her neck, a brown midi skirt, brown patterned stockings, brown shoes, all covered with a dark marrón apron. Sweet, and sensible.
The sensual and seductive Marianne wearing sea foam green gown in Casablanca now was the sweet and sensible Marianne wearing dark green blouse in Hampstead.
11. Brown trench coat of wide lapel with burgundy beret
And she wanted Max to pick some mushrooms with her for a party she was planning. For the mushroom picking, Marianne put on a camel brown trench coat with wide lapels. A blue patterned scarf and a burgundy red beret, the only hint of her Frenchiness.
And when she later made out with Max besides a mushroom basket, we can see a pop of orange under her trench coat. A very interesting outfit indeed, with all these colors - green, blue, brown, burgundy, camel, orange, and patterns - floral and geometric, all thrown together, in harmony or in conflict with each other.
When they went home, the phone rang in the foyer. Marianne wanted to stop Max from picking it up. But he did. She was still in the brown trench coat, with the orange popping out. Neither of them knew their life would never be the same again.
12. Rose pink floral print dressing gown and white puff sleeved sleeping dress
Back in his office, Max was notified by his supervisors that his wife was very likely a German spy, and they would provide him with some false information to verify and identify her handler in the next 72 hours.
At bedtime, Marianne changed into a rose floral dressing gown with wide collar. she checked her daughter Ana, then went into the bathroom, brushing her teeth. In Casablanca, Marianne had worn another dressing gown, more bright, more open, more lightweight, more seductive. Now she was wearing the dressing gown of a wife, and belted, exposing nothing.
Finally Marianne came to bed, taking off her dressing gown, revealing her beige night gown with short puffed sleeves, only the keyhole opening at the back of the night gown hinted at another Marianne of another place and another time. And just when she was about to kiss Max, the phone rang. It was 23:07, the time Max was supposed receive the phone call giving him the false information which he should write down on purpose.
13. Red blouse with polka dot and brown pleated midi skirt
Marianne wanted Max to bring whisky for the party, and Max took the chance starting investigation. He wanted to prove his boss wrong, that Marianne was innocent.
When he met her up in a pub, Marianne was wearing a dark red blouse with white polka dots, and a brown pleated midi skirt.
As Max was going to light a cigarette, Marianne looked at him, smiling, "A husband would offer his wife a cigarette before lighting his own."
She had said exactly the same words to Max when they first met in Casablanca, in the car, when Max was still her fake husband. Somehow, the words seemed less natural, even a little artificial.
14. Pale yellow checked blouse with burgundy pants
Saturday night, on the party Marianne organized, she wore a pale yellow checked blouse with very sharp collar, and a pair of burgundy pants with very high waist and very wide legs. She floated through the party, evoking the Marianne in Casablanca.
Max’s direct boss Frank came to the party, only to ask Max not to continue his investigation as some soldier had died helping him.
The party went on, then some german airplanes attacked London sky, Marianne went to get Ana. When a damaged airplane plunged toward the windows of their home, Max went to get his wife and their daughter. He covered both with his body. The plane crashed close to their home, nobody got hurt.
Marianne, with Ana in her arm, asked Max to get rid of the party people. Then she called out to him:
“Max, tomorrow we’ll have whole day with Ana. Let’s forget the war. Let’s make the best day ever.” Max replied: “Yeah, I like that.”
15. Black dress with puffed sleeves
Marianne was sitting on the floor of the living room playing with her daughter. She was wearing a very small v-necked black dress, with puffed sleeves.
When she heard Max coming down stairs, she asked him to join them. Max, wearing uniform, came into the living room, gave her a kiss, silently and solemnly, and left.
No excuse, no explanation, no farewell, but Marianne did not ask, did not object, like she did before.
In that black dress, she floated through her home, in the darkness of the night, tucking in Ana, singing to her.
The last time we saw her wear a dress, was her wedding dress. Since then, she had opted for blouses and midi skirts, like a sensible housewife. But now she was wearing a dress, a black dress, with puffed shoulder lines and embroidery at the neckline. The dress was long, with 3 quarter sleeves, covering most of her body.
16. Terra-cotta red hooded coat
Marianne, having slept alone. went downstairs in her rose pink floral dressing gown, and she saw Max, sitting at the dinner table, looking exhausted.
“Marianne, I need you to come with me. Drop off Ana, come with me now, please.” That was Max’s first words to her.
So she went, putting on the same black dress, and a terra-cotta red hooded coat over the dress.
Max broke the glass door of a bar. He wanted Marianne play the piano. By now he already knew from his overnight investigation that the real Marianne had played “La Marseillaise” in front of the Germans.
Marianne sat down, in front of the piano, her two hands touching each other. She then closed the lid of the piano, and confessed.
Filled with anger and unwavering love, Max wanted to escape with Marianne and their daughter, but they did not make it, like Marianne feared.
Marianne did the only thing she could to save Max. Under the heavy rain, she was wearing black and red. Black for mourning, red for blood.
All of the outfits in the film were custom-made for the cast, in particular Marianne's outfits, with some of her outfits being made multiple pieces. The sea foam green dress she wore to kill was made 8 versions, perhaps that's why she could look so fresh even after all the killing and running.
At the 89th Academy Awards the film Allied was nominated for Best Costume Design. It was Joanna Johnston’s second nomination for an Academy Award for Best Costume Design.