When you’re old enough to have seen the great pairings: Cooper and Bergman in “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” Bogart and Bergman in “Casablanca,” not to mention Bogart and Bacall in “To Have and Have Not,” Cooper and Stanwyck in “Meet John Doe,” Stanwyck and anybody in anything, you’ve been in the presence of greatness.

I know, those were the good old days, but Norma was right; “Big” films have shrunken.

Have we stopped trying? Maybe in Hollywood, but not in Europe; I give you Martin McDonagh’s “In Bruges” with Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson; a small film so well done it grew in front of our eyes.

For “Allied,” sad is too small a word; it’s deeper than that, it’s almost despondency, gloom, heartache, I felt watching the fabulous Marion Cotillard sit at a cafe with movie star Brad Pitt looking like a men’s fashion model.

I’ve never been a big fan of Robert Zemeckis: Jim Carrey in “A Christmas Carol,” “The Polar Express,” “Death Becomes Her.” Please.

Oh, he got the explosions right, Marion’s clothes, Brad’s summer suit, even the sodden ending with the rain, the gloom of England and Marion’s raincoat. Perfect.

I will say the German officers were much better than those in “Hogan’s Heroes,” I’ll give him that. One of them I believe actually had a monocle.

The script, by Steven Knight, had its moments, but few of them, and his “Dirty Pretty Things,” and “Eastern Promises,” while not gems, were grittier and more fun.

Oh, I should give you the plot: Cotillard is a French underground assassin sent to kill an important German official, and Pitt, who is dropped into the Moroccan desert in Peter O’Toole’s jumping clothes, has been sent in to assist her.

Mr. Pitt plays a British Agent from Canada, who looks like he’s from Boise, Idaho, and who speaks Quebec French.

Zemeckis wants us to believe that the Germans are so dumb they will accept Pitt as a Parisian with a Montreal accent, and that they couldn’t find a real Frenchman recruited from the French Resistance to do the job?

Has Vincent Cassel retired? Was Jean Dujardin’s (“The Artist”) price too high? Would the great Mathieu Amalric not be box office enough? Of course he wouldn’t. It had to be a movie star, didn’t it? Well, they got one.

Okay, I’m being too hard on Pitt, he’s done some good work; his Aldo Raine in “Inglourious Basterds” was wonderful, his gay gym coach in “Burn After Reading” was hilarious and brilliant.

But a French scientist? He should have known better, however there are worse movies on local screens this joyous season.

J.P. Devine is a former stage and screen actor.

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