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Reassigned To Antarctica / Live-Action Films
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  • In Batman Begins, Earle reassigned Lucius Fox to the Applied Sciences division of Wayne Enterprises, as it's a dead-end position and it keeps Fox from causing any trouble on the board of directors. At the end of the movie, thanks to Bruce Wayne, Fox gets Earle's job and Earle is fired.
  • The South-Indian film Benkiya Bale has the protagonist, a popular schoolteacher reassigned to a disease ridden poverty stricken school, in order to ensure that a village elder can use Nepotism to get his son a teaching job. The protagonist fights it at first, but ultimately ends up there on account of salacious rumors about his wife. The two of them initially try to make the best of it, but tragically it goes from bad to worse. For both.
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  • University researcher Harry Walper in Creator is regularly threatened with transfer to Northfield (a research centre for old fogey scientists) for various wacky hijinks.
  • 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.
  • 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?"
  • 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.
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  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Will Arnett's obstructive FBI Agent in G-Force is literally reassigned to Antarctica at the end of the film.
  • Goldstone: Following the hornet's nest he stirred up in Mystery Road, Jay Swan is assigned to investigate a six month old missing person case in the middle of nowhere.
  • 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.
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  • 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 Guilty, Asger is relegated to answering calls at the dispatch centre pending trial after killing a young man in the line of duty.
  • 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.
  • 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!"
  • It's mentioned in Hellboy II: The Golden Army that Hellboy got John Meyers transferred to Antarctica, explaining his absence from the film.
  • Nicholas Angel in Hot Fuzz, though that is for being too good at his job; Tall Poppy Syndrome is in full play here. Also a Kicked Upstairs in that he is promoted to Sergeant, in Sandford, Gloucestershire. This 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 seem happy to see him go. On the other hand, once he leaves London, crime absolutely skyrockets.
  • 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 A Knight's Tale, Sir Adhemar gets sent to lead a war after he'd refused to tilt against Sir Colville - who is actually Prince Edward in disguise.
  • In 1962's Lawrence of Arabia, the Turkish Bey played by José Ferrer utters the line, "Two years I have been posted to Dera. If I had been stationed on the dark side of the moon I could not have been more isolated."
  • 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.
  • Little Giant: Benny Miller (Costello) is so incompetent in his job as a Traveling Salesman that his boss John Morrison transfers him to a remote regional branch: Morrison not wanting to fire him for fear it will expose that he has been Stealing from the Till.
  • 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]
  • 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 the titular reporter in Morgan Pålsson: 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.
  • A Most Wanted Man (2014). Günther Bachmann heads a tiny intelligence unit in Hamburg after his spy network was destroyed in Beirut. When this trope is brought up, he replies that it depends on whether or not you like Hamburg. The person he's talking to suggests that he uses the perception that he's working a backwater assignment to get on with his job without interference from his superiors.
  • The Mountie: After accidentally killing a child during a raid, Corporal (formerly Sergeant) Grayling is sent to an extremely remote posting in the Yukon to establish a permanent Mountie post.
  • In Moving Violations, Deputy Hank is reassigned to teaching traffic school indefinitely after unintentionally vandalising his commanding officer's car.
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Clouseau is frequently threatened with this in The Pink Panther movies. A Running Gag in Dreyfus's first two films is as soon as he demotes Clouseau, he's immediately forced to promote him back.
    Dreyfus: If she's not in your custody in five minutes, you'll be checking parking meters in Martinique!
  • 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.
  • Vizzini threatens Fezzik with this in The Princess Bride. "Do you want me to send you back to where you were? Unemployed? In Greenland?"
  • The Principal: Rick is reassigned to Brandel High by the school district after he gets into a drunken bar fight with his ex-wife's new beau. He uses it as an opportunity to restore his name by cleaning up the crime-ridden school.
  • Private Benjamin: Judy's commanding officer in the Thornbirds attempts to sexually assault her. When she refuses to comply, he attempts to have her transferred as far away from Biloxi as soon as possible. Rather than accept what she sees as an undesirable post in Greenland or Guam, she negotiates a much better assignment to SHAPE in Belgium.
  • 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 basis for much comedy, dark and otherwise, in the movie Ravenous (1999). Every character is essentially a misfit or a local in the freezing mountains of far-off 1800s California. The lead character, introduced as a military hero, is being disposed of as a result of incurable, dangerous abject cowardice.
  • 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. Ironically, Holman doesn't really mind at first because he doesn't have to deal with all the ceremonial military stuff he hates because it gets in the way of him doing his job as an engineer.
  • Sgt. Bilko's nemesis Major Thorn gets transferred to Greenland. Twice.
  • Solo A Star Wars Story: Han Solo enlists in the Imperial Navy to become a TIE pilot and get back home to rescue his girlfriend. Immediately after enlisting, we smash cut to Han in a muddy, dust-filled hellhole planet fighting in the infantry; he later explains that he was thrown out of flight school for "having a mind of my own".
  • In Star Trek (2009) 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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."
  • Police officers in the French film franchise Taxi are often threatened with being demoted to traffic police.
  • Thank You for Smoking: Heather Holloway, who is discredited after Nick makes various veiled public comments about her unethical tactics as a reporter. In the Where Are They Now epilogue, the last time we see Heather, she's providing news coverage in the middle of a massive storm in the middle of nowhere.
  • 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."
  • Captain Charlie Stark of Wake Me When It's Over was assigned to the small island of Shima in post-WWII Japan as punishment for buzzing the Supreme Court, of all places. Since it is an Air Force outpost which does not seem to have much to do with locals who hate them, Shima was likely the Air Force's dumping grounds for rejects like Stark.
  • In Water (1985), Baxter was assigned to Cascara after his wife danced topless at a reception for the Duke of Edinburgh.
  • Happens in the movie of the graphic novel Whiteout, as mentioned under "comic books." Although in this case, it is a self-imposed exile.

Alternative Title(s): Film


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