John Wayne was the original cowboy. Then Clint Eastwood popularized the genre of movies starring cowboys, and many came after him. Cowboy: Literally means 'A Boy who tends Cows', traditionally ranchers who attend to cattle in N. America, mostly the region that is Texas now, who would dress a certain way (hat, scarf, cargos, leather shoes, etc.), apparently have some character traits common to all. What Hollywood made of them: Wild Wild West, guns, drawl in typical southern accents, horses and women. There's Telugu hiphop and Tamil rap now, so imagine the fun of having a Telugu cowboy. Who could play a cowboy and get away with it in Telugu cinema? Ans: Superstar Krishna.
Mosagallaku Mosagadu was such a huge hit, that several 'Telugu cowboy' movies came after that. Krishna of course signed six cowboy flicks right after that including Manchivallaku Manchivadu to Dongala Dopidi. Padmalaya's first production Agni Pariksha might have flopped, but cowboy flicks like The Good the Bad and the Ugly fired the actor-producer's imagination.
It was a tricky job to nativise the cowboy content, because it is esentially about the lifestyles of a sect of people (try making a Rayalaseema faction film in Hollywood). Arudra took it to the era of English-French colonizing our country. He also took various characters from cowboy movies, like Nagabhushanam's character is based on 'Ugly' in the earlier mentioned movie and Krishna himself is a Robinhood of sorts entwinded in a revenge setting. Cows do not appear to play a role in either the original or this nativisation-this is called artistic liberty or in other more honest terms, the distortion of truth by popular media. Either ways, the public love it.
KSR Das directed the movie, which was his first Telugu color movie. One highlight of the movie to get the feel of the place, sandy regions and other terrain had to be selected. Shooting was mostly outdoors in places like Bikaner, Shimla, Pondicherry, Madras and others. Near River Sutlej and its hot springs with bluish-green water, snowcapped areas near Tibet border (where lead Vijaya Nirmala had to walk barefoot in the snow for a song) and some shooting at Pakistan-China border where the location was a completely new experience for the Telugu audiences.
John Wayne's cowboy flicks were set mostly in America whereas Eastwood shifted his backdrop to Italy, which was a change for cowboy movies. Producer Adi Sheshagiri Rao knew why Eastwood's movies clicked-the location or rather the change of scene played a major role amongst other obvious factors.
The movie which was inspired from English films was dubbed into English and released overseas with the title Treasure Hunt, in Hindi as Gunfighter Jhonny and in Tamil as Mosakaranki Mosakaran.
This was one of the few Telugu movies that ran in Bengalooru for a record 100 days. The movie ran in Telugu and effortlessly finished the 100 day mark, resulting in the usual hype and hoopla and celebration parties. Telugu audiences loved Krishna's new avatar, new locations used and all the dishum-dishum in it. Krishna remains the first Telugu 'cowboy' and the first Telugu 'James Bond'.