It was filmed in and around Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Several scenes were filmed on the campus of Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania, including scenes near the Admissions House, the Dieter-Porter Life Sciences Building, and Old Main.
In 1963 Pittsburgh, Rocky Holzcek is a cantankerous 77-year-old Polish-American baker who insists, despite relatives' protests, upon adopting his young grandson Michael when the boy's parents pass away. Twenty years later, Michael is a medical student in Columbus who's forced to take his still-spry grandfather when the old man is evicted from his apartment building. Although the crusty, outspoken Rocky gets along with his Chinese college roommates, he is less enthused about his grandson's girlfriend, Beth. Eventually, Michael and Beth marry and head to Pittsburgh where Michael begins his medical residency, while Rocky continues working as a baker. An illness forces Rocky to move back to Pittsburgh with his grandson and his wife, and Rocky warms up to Beth. Seven years pass, and Rocky lives with Michael and Beth and their two children, as Michael has built himself a prominent medical career. However, when Beth is killed in an automobile accident, the old man once again comes to support his grandson in his time of need. At the end of the film, Rocky dies at the age of 107, knowing that his grandson is well, and that he has provided all the care that he could for him.
- Peter Falk - Rocky Holzeck
- D. B. Sweeney - Michael Holzcek
- Julianne Moore - Beth Holzeck
- Ellen Burstyn - Judith
- Jan Rubes - Bolek Krupa
- Ernie Sabella - Stash
- John Cunningham - Burt Shook
- Frankie Faison - Professor Martin
- Raymond K. Wong - Deng
- William H. Macy - Doctor (uncredited cameo)