Halothane (0.05–1.7 vol per cent end-tidal) in nitrous oxide (N2O), 60 per cent: oxygen (O2), 40 per cent was administered to nonmedicated, closed-chest pigs. Ventricular function was analyzed from cardiac output (thermodilution) and left ventricular (LV) pressure indices. Ventricular volumes and compliance were estimated from single and biplane LV angiography. In separate experiments, the effects of N2O, time, and the angiographic dye injections were shown to be minimal. Halothane caused dose-dependent decreases in aortic blood pressure, cardiac output, peak first derivative of left ventricular pressure (LV dP/dt), the in-vivo maximum velocity of fiber shortening (Vmax), and ejection fraction; non-dose-dependent decreases in heart rate and circumferential fiber shortening rate. Although a pronounced dose-related negative inotropic effect of halothane in the pig heart was demonstrated, there was no definite effect on ventricular pressure-volume relationships (compliance). If there was any such effect of halothane, it was obscured by the cardiac depression produced.