The films of Howard Hawks always feature big stars, rarely varying that format. His original plan for Air Force was to feature a cast of unknowns, but John Garfield had enough power at Warner Brothers to get himself a featured part.
Hawks tried it again in the 60s with a cast of unknowns in Red Line 7000. Only James Caan became well known.
There are no big stars in The Thing either, but Hawks did not take director credit for it.