Handcuffs or Kisses

Handcuffs or Kisses is a 1921 American silent drama film directed by George Archainbaud and starring Elaine Hammerstein, Julia Swayne Gordon, and Dorothy Chappell.[1] It was future Hollywood star Ronald Colman's first film in America. This is presumed to be a lost film.[2]

Handcuffs or Kisses
Film still
Directed byGeorge Archainbaud
Produced byLewis J. Selznick
Written byLewis Allen Browne
Thomas Edgelow (story)
StarringElaine Hammerstein
Julia Swayne Gordon
Dorothy Chappell
CinematographyJules Cronjager
Distributed bySelect Pictures Corporation
Release date
  • September 5, 1921 (1921-09-05)
Running time
60 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)


As described in a film magazine,[3] Lois Walton (Hammerstein) is sent to a reformatory by scheming relatives and when she protests of the ill treatment of a weaker sister, she is flogged and dipped in ice cold baths. An investigation into the institution's affairs is conducted but the inmates are intimidated and dare not testify against the matron. Doris is sent to the home of a physician as a domestic worker, but she leaves after the doctor attempts to embrace her. She is befriended by a lawyer on the investigating committee, but, fearing to compromise him, she again escapes and is given a home by a woman that runs a gambling den. The young lawyer runs into her again and offers her marriage and a home, which she accepts.



  1. Koszarski p. 71
  2. Progressive Silent Film List: Handcuffs or Kisses? at silentera.com
  3. "Reviews: Handcuffs or Kisses". Exhibitors Herald. New York City: Exhibitors Herald Company. 13 (17): 69. October 22, 1921.


  • Richard Koszarski. Hollywood on the Hudson: Film and Television in New York from Griffith to Sarnoff. Rutgers University Press, 2008.
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