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Reassigned To Antarctica: Film

  • In silent gangster film The Racket, the crusading cop is reassigned from his former district in the heart of downtown to a dull precinct in the sticks. This backfires when the brother of the gangster the cop is after gets arrested in the cop's new precinct.
  • The Lives of Others: Gerd Wiesler is demoted to Department M (steaming open letters in a dark basement) since he obstructed a Stasi operation. However, he obstructed the operation since it was motivated by political expediency and Wiesler was horrified at the abuse of power. [1]
  • Happens in the movie of the graphic novel Whiteout, as mentioned under "comic books." Although in this case, it is a self-imposed exile.
  • The first Mission: Impossible movie did this with the CIA technician who worked in the super secret room that Ethan and company hacked into. In this case it's done to stop any word about the hack from getting out, as only he and his two superiors know about it. "I want him manning a radar tower in Alaska by the end of the day. Just mail him his clothes."
  • Happens to Nicholas Angel in Hot Fuzz, though that is for being too good at his job. Also a Kicked Upstairs in that he is promoted to Sergeant, so his superiors can spin the new assignment as a reward.
    • The amount of spinning necessary seems to be minimal. Judging by their reaction, most of the rest of the Met seemed happy to see him go. On the other hand, once he leaves London, crime absolutely skyrockets.
  • John Laroquette's character was threatened with, and ultimately suffered, this fate in Stripes. But he deserved it, for sending a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits on an Impossible Mission.
  • It's mentioned in Hellboy II that Hellboy got John Meyers transferred to Antarctica, explaining his absence from the film.
  • In Good Morning Vietnam, antagonist Sergeant Major Dickerson is transferred to Guam at the end of the film. Something of an inversion in that Guam is a pleasant place, but Dickerson's desire to be near combat action makes him view it as an undesirable transfer.
  • Police officers in the French film franchise Taxi are often threatened with being demoted to traffic police.
  • In a weird inversion, the lying bigoted boss of 9 to 5 is actually rewarded with an unwanted reassignment. After he steals credit for his underlings' ideas, his higher-ups are so impressed that they promote him to head their foreign expansion project. In Brazil.
    • And then he's kidnapped by rebels, so...
  • University researcher Harry Walper in Creator is regularly threatened with transfer to Northfield (a research centre for old fogey scientists) for various wacky hijinks.
  • As Osmosis Jones begins, the titular blood cell has been assigned to patrol Frank's mouth after a bad incident. ("I should be out in the veins fighting disease, not up in the mouth on tartar control!") Later, the mayor threatens to demote him further by sending him to the next nosebleed.
    • At the end, the mayor has been ousted and is now working on the rectum.
  • The basis for much comedy, dark and otherwise, in the movie Ravenous. Every character is essentially a misfit or a local in the freezing mountains of far-off 1800s California. The lead character is introduced as a military hero is being disposed of as a result of incurable, dangerous abject cowardice.
  • In the 2009 Star Trek film by J.J. Abrams, Montgomery Scott is reassigned to a Federation outpost on a remote ice world after he uses Admiral Archer's dog as a test subject to prove that interplanetary transportation is possible (everyone having ridiculed Scotty for the idea). The fact that the dog was transported somewhere that even Scott doesn't know only served as more of a reason for Star Fleet to invoke this trope on him/Kick Him Upstairs.
    • In the novelization, the dog actually reappears on the Enterprise's warp deck. Nobody's around to notice it, though.
  • Sgt. Bilko's nemesis Major Thorn gets transferred to Greenland. Twice.
  • Happens to the titular reporter in Morgan Pĺlsson: World Reporter, where he is reassigned to the unimportant middle-eastern country Matóbo. True to the description of the trope, a coup d'état happens shortly after his arrival, turning all the world's eyes on him.
  • Will Arnett's obstructive FBI Agent in G-Force is literally reassigned to Antarctica at the end of the film.
  • In The Great Escape, reassignment to the Eastern Front is portrayed as a potential (and terrifying) punishment for incompetent Wehrmacht guards (which was a case of Truth in Television).
  • In The Poseidon Adventure, Reverend Scott (Gene Hackman) is in the process of being transferred to a Parish so far out of the way "...I had to buy an encyclopedia to find out where it was" because of his somewhat radical philosophies.
  • In the Alternate History film It Happened Here (1966) the protagonist Pauline, a nurse in a fascist organization, is demoted and sent to the countryside for refusing to denounce some friends who were aiding La Résistance. She initially welcomes the move as the country hospital has none of the paramilitary political trappings of the London organization. She then discovers the hospital is being used to euthanize foreign slave workers who have contracted TB. Earlier there's a scene where one of her superiors receives a phone call announcing his reassignment to somewhere unpleasant (presumably the Russian front). At that moment his secretary tries to report Pauline for trying to get hold of morphine for her friends; the distracted superior simply throws her out of his office.
  • In TRON, the Master Control Program expresses its disappointment in Sark; "You've enjoyed all the power you've been given, haven't you? I wonder how you'd take to working in a pocket calculator."
  • In The Beatles' A Hard Day's Night, when they find Ringo and get back to the TV studio minutes before their show, the program director is relieved and grateful...the possible consequences for him if the show fell through? "News in Welsh...for life!"
  • Attempted in the Mexican film El Crimen del Padre Amaro, when the bishop uses Amaro as a messenger to notify the Theology of Liberation preaching priest living with the peasants, that he is to be reassigned to a nun's convent, the peasant's priest laughs at this, and then later Amaro delivers him an excommunication notice.
  • The titular Fort Apache is this for Lt. Col. Owen Thursday (Henry Fonda). He incited Cochise into a battle to turn it into a Reassignment Backfire. It sort of worked, but for his former subordinate Lt. Col. York (John Wayne).
  • The Sand Pebbles: Holman is assigned to a small gunboat in a backwater of the Chinese hinterland because he tends to get on his superiors' wrong side. Truth in Television, as the China Station had a reputation as a dumping ground for the Navy's mavericks, misfits, and troublemakers.
  • This is mentioned to have happened to Bryan Mills in Taken for the time he went AWOL for his daughter's birthday. "Actually, it was Alaska."
  • The plot to Alpha and Omega. Well meaning enviormentalists take a breeding pair to a far-off National park, not understanding the female is needed to keep peace between the local wolf packs.
  • In Gung Ho, formerly Tokyo-based Kazuhiro's last chance on Japanese automaker Assan's executive track is supervising their new plant in western Pennsylvania.
  • Clouseau is frequently threatened with this in the Pink Panther movies.
    Dreyfus: If she's not in your custody in five minutes, you'll be checking parking meters in Martinique!
    • A Running Gag in Dreyfus' first two films is as soon as he demotes Clouseau, he's immediately forced to promote him back.
  • Vizzini threatens Fezzik with this in The Princess Bride. "Do you want me to send you back to where you were? Unemployed? In Greenland?"
  • In the prologue of The Tailor of Panama, MI6 spy Andy Osnard is reassigned to Panama as punishment for his affair with an ambassador's mistress.
  • In Water (1985), Baxter was assigned to Cascara after his wife danced topless at a reception for the Duke of Edinburgh.
  • Subverted in The Other Guys. Hoitz is busted down to traffic, but actually enjoys it.
    • Even earlier in the film, it's revealed why he's stuck working property crimes: while doing a security detail at Yankee Stadium, he shot Derek Jeter.
  • In Moving Violations, Deputy Hank is reassigned to teaching traffic school indefinitely after unintentionally vandalising his commanding officer's car.
  • In The Numbers Station, CIA assassin Emerson Kent is reassigned to the titular numbers station in Suffolk, England for refusing to kill the daughter of a witness during a botched assignment.
  • Wu Luan is made an ambassador to Khitan in Legend Of The Black Scorpion. Everybody knows he's really being sent to his death for pissing off his uncle.
  • The Elite Squad: When the precinct commander discovers that Neto and Matias took his bribes away from him, he has Matias assigned to the cafeteria and takes Neto's best mechanic away.
  • DEBS. After Ms. Petrie finds out that Amy is in love with Lucy Diamond, she threatens to send Amy "so far away that luxuries like toilet paper and Diet Coke will be as a distant dream to you." Dominique argues against it, saying "What good would it do to send Amy to Siberia?"
  • Inverted in Monsters vs. Aliens, where the staff members at the Antarctic outpost deliberately took the position to avoid having to actually do anything.
  • In Planes: Fire and Rescue, The obnoxious Park Superintendent gets reassigned to Death Valley after diverting water supplies from the firefighters to the hotel sprinkler system nearly gets everybody killed (including the Secretary of the Interior).
  • In Flesh and the Devil, Leo the German cavalryman gets reassigned to German Southwest Africa after getting involved with a woman and then fighting a duel with the cuckolded husband, which ended in the husband getting killed.

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