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William Harvey and the circulation of the blood.

  • Film

About this work


A completely revised and updated version of the 1957 film of the same title. The two earlier versions of this film (1928 and 1957) were both based on Robert Willis' 1847 translation of Harvey's "De Motu Cordis" for the Sydenham Society. This version is based directly on Harvey's original text, and corrects a number of minor errors and omissions in the earlier versions, as well as incorporating much new historical research. At the University of Padua, Harvey was taught the anatomy of Galen and Vesalius, the more recent work of Columbus having been larely rejected. However, Harvey's own research into the anatomy and physiology of the heart was to highlight, many of the errors of the classical anatomists, and largely to vindicate Columbus' criticims of Galen. With the aid of animated diagrams and dissections, the film describes the way in which Harvey formulated his revolutionary new theories of cardiac action and of the motion of the blood through the heart, arteries and veins. The commentary is taken very largely from Harvey's own writings, and the film shows how Harvey verified his conclusions regarding the circulation of the blood by repeating his key experiments.


UK : Royal College of Physicians, 1971-72.

Physical description

6 film reels (38 min.) : 1 film reel (sound neg.) (38 min.) : 1 film reel (picture neg.) (38 min.) : sound, color, 16 mm sound, 16 mm. color, 16 mm


Harvey's experiments reconstructed by Professor Michael de Burgh Daley (St. Bartholomew's Hospital Medical College, London) and Dr. L.G. Goodwin, F.R.S. Made over to the Trust by Douglas Fisher and the Royal College of Physicians in March 1990.
Available for sale.

Creator/production credits

Writers and researchers, Dr. Gweneth Whitteridge (University of Oxford), Dr. Charles Newman, F.R.C.P. and Leonard Payne, F.L.A. Director, producer and cinematographer, Douglas Fisher for the Royal College of Physicians.

Copyright note

Original copyright held by the Royal College of Physicians, later transferred to Wellcome Trust (February 1990).



  • English

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