There’s no such thing as entirely “normal” behavior these days. The world of 2006 is ten times loonier than, say the world of 1956. Egoistic oddballs, twitchy eccentrics, depressives, Courtney Love, people with hair-trigger tempers and substance-abuse problems. I can honestly claim to know at least two women who would stand a good chance of being rounded up and thrown into Bedlam if they were suddenly time-tripped back to Charles Dickens‘ London.
In such an environment, an escapee from a local mental hospital wouldn’t seem all that curious, much less threatening. Unless he was homidical and foaming at the mouth, he’d be seen as just one more nutter with ongoing issues. And so the idea of making a movie about a couple of characters trying to identify which person “among several plausible candidates” is the true escapee from a nearby mental hospital doesn’t exactly light the room on fire. Not by today’s standards. Even if you do the movie in “period.”