It used to be that movie stars who could no longer draw a crowd in large enough to justify a big studio contract would end their days in B movies, movies made to fill out a double bill, where they could still attract some people, and perhaps fill out the tail end of their contracts. Nowadays they go into TV series or even into made-for-TV movies, like this series of murder mysteries that Dick Van Dyke has been starring in for the Hallmark Channel.
Dick stars as a professor of criminology at a fictitious college; his son plays his nephew, a private investigator and his grandson his nephew's son, so the whole thing is a real family affair. The movie is a fine, old-fashioned locked-room murder, with a very nice twist and an interesting background, filled out with a New Age retreat, plenty of red herrings and some fine supporting players, particularly Susan Blakely.
This is not a great movie, of course. There isn't enough of a budget to hire talent enough to do something novel and expensive, but these old pros provide a pretty good couple of hours.
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