The Body (1970 film)

The Body is a 1970 British scientific documentary film directed and produced by Roy Battersby. In the film, external and internal cameras are used to showcase the human body.[2]

The Body
Directed byRoy Battersby
Produced byTony Garnett
Based onbook by Anthony Smith
Narrated byFrank Finlay
Vanessa Redgrave
Music byRon Geesin
Roger Waters
CinematographyTony Imi
Edited byAlan Cumner-Price
Kestrel Films
Distributed byAnglo-EMI (UK)
Release date
1970 (UK)
24 February 1971 (US)
Running time
93 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

The film's narrators, Frank Finlay and Vanessa Redgrave, provide commentary that combines the knowledge of human biologists and anatomical experts. The film's soundtrack, Music from the Body, was composed by Ron Geesin and Roger Waters, and includes songs that were made using the human body as a medium. Waters is also the narrator of one scene.


The film was "suggested by" a science book by Anthony Smith.[3] The cost of optioning film rights and developing the project to take to market cost £11,000 which came from the NFFC. After a year, by December 1969 Battersby had a script. He showed this to the NFFC which resulted in another draft of the script. The NFFC agreed to provide half of the finance. On March 1969 Battersby met with Nat Cohen at Anglo-Amalgamated who agreed to provide the other half of finance on that day.[4][1] Battersby shot about 300,000 feet of film of which 11,000 were used. "There was a lot of blood and film on the cutting room floor," said Garnett.[3]


Tony Garnett asked John Peel recommendations for who might do the soundtrack. Peel suggested Ron Geesin.[5] He did it with Roger Waters from Pink Floyd. Geesin later said:

It was an attempt... to put a deeply socio-human documentary about the human body into cinemas, using some then-pioneering micro-camera work: coursing along the various tubes and all that. The soundtrack did what all film soundtracks are supposed to do: duet with the visual content, for, against, unison, comment. The subsequent album for EMI consisted of most of that soundtrack, in its many parts: mine as originally recorded, Roger’s re-recorded, supplemented by two original tracks, little to do with the film and all to do with Roger and me having fun, ‘Our Song’ and ‘Body Transport’.[6]


In August 1971 Nat Cohen, whose company distributed the film, said it had recouped its negative cost in the Far East alone.[7]

Home mediaEdit

The film was released on DVD on 7 October 2013.


  1. ^ a b Moody, Paul (19 October 2018). EMI Films and the Limits of British Cinema. Springer. p. 89. ISBN 9783319948034.
  2. ^ BODY, The Monthly Film Bulletin; London Vol. 37, Iss. 432, (Jan 1, 1970): 254.
  3. ^ a b Putting a poet on flim Pendennis. The Observer 3 May 1970: 44.
  4. ^ Making it Jordan, C. New Society; London Vol. 16, (Jul 2, 1970): 420.
  5. ^ "Ron Gessin interview". Floydian Slip.
  6. ^ Breznikar, Klemen (26 January 2016). "Ron Geesin interview". It's Psychedelic Baby! Magazine. Archived from the original on 24 September 2016. Retrieved 24 December 2020.
  7. ^ NAT COHEN. "British film finance." Times [London, England] 20 Aug. 1971: 13. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 6 Apr. 2014.

External linksEdit