A method is described for imaging the heart using magnetic resonance (MR) in which a new image is formed in real-time every cardiac cycle. Scan parameters like the electrocardiogram (ECG) trigger delay, enabling/disabling presaturation pulses and interactive adjustment of oblique angulation are controlled by the operator while the scan is proceeding. An image acquisition time under 400 msec is attained via a GRASS pulse sequence using an ultra-short TR time of 8.1 msec, and 48 phase encoding views. Myocardium/blood contrast is enhanced via application of saturation pulses prior to data acquisition. Reconstruction is performed instantaneously using instrumentation developed in our laboratory. Additional equipment modifications enable real-time interactive control of oblique angulation and other imaging parameters.