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OTRC: Steven Spielberg gives memorable Oscar speech, thanks WWII families - Oscar History (Video)

Steven Spielberg accepts an Oscar award for Best Director for 'Saving Private Ryan' in 1999. (Oscar.com)

Throughout this Oscar season, we are looking back at some of the great moments in the history of the awards. At the 71st Oscars in 1999, Steven Spielberg won the Oscar for Best Director for his war drama "Saving Private Ryan," which he said was an "extraordinary moment" in his life.

The film is a recreation of World War II's D-day invasion, and what resulted immediately afterward. Tom Hanks starred in the film as Captain John Miller, who leads his squad on a mission to bring home Private James Ryan, who is played by Matt Damon.

During his acceptance speech, the esteemed director thanked Hanks for his efforts, as well as those who lost loved ones during World War II.

"This is just fantastic," Spielberg said in his speech. "Let me just turn my eyes to Mr. Hanks, who from the very, very beginning said 'this is going to be something extraordinary.' We weren't really talking about the film, we were talking about the experience of making 'Saving Private Ryan.' He was right. It is one of the most extraordinary events of all of our lives, and the lives of all of our families - we were in it together."

"This has just been an amazing experience, and what I'd like to do is just thank very, very sincerely the families who lost sons in World War II," he added. "I want to thank?all the families who incurred these tremendous losses in this war. We tried to show a story of one such family, and it turned up that were many such families unfortunately."

Spielberg also honored his father and dedicated the award to him (Watch above).

Spielberg is also known for his many award-winning directorial debuts such as "Schindler's List," for which he won his first Oscar, as well as "A.I. Artificial Intelligence," "Catch Me If You Can," the "Indiana Jones" films and the Oscar-nominated film "War Horse." The 1982 film "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial" earned him a Best Director nomination and also received a Best Picture nod. He and the film lost to Richard Attenborough and his movie, "Gandhi."

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