In forty fresh human cadaver knees the function of the anterior cruciate ligament and of its two component parts, the posterolateral part and the anteromedial band, were studied by cutting these ligaments and others in different sequences and combinations and then manually stressing the knees. The anterior drawer sign cannot be obtained unless the anteromedial band is severed. The postolateral part and the medial collateral ligament are, respectively, the secondary and tertiary restraints limiting the anterior drawer sign. Both internal and external rotation are limited by the anterior cruciate ligament, especially when the knee is in extension. The anterior cruciate ligament also limits hyperextension.